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Press releases

Tory Conference Pledges Keep Public Sector Workers Awake At Night

14th Oct 2009

The 2009 Travelodge 'Sleep and Professions' study of over 6,000 British workers found that a sharp increase in the UK workforces sleeplessness was down to a more uncertain future in public sector professions. With the number of UK workers failing to receive the recommended eight hours of sleep per night rising by two million*, teachers, civil servants, doctors and nurses headed the poll for the first time.

The budget hotel chain's annual sleep report now in its fourth year, annually highlights the most stressed workers as the respondents that achieve the least amount of sleep. In 2008, the confirmation of the UK recession plagued the sleep of bankers and estate agents and now this year the report reflects how the UK economy has moved on. Just behind the public sector workers, professions in the construction industry remain high on the list of the sleep deprived for the second year running.

The sleep study also examined the main reasons why public sector workers are losing so much sleep and findings revealed 41% of teachers lie awake at night worrying about work related issues such as job security, budget cuts within the education sector and anti social behaviour in the classroom. In addition a quarter (25%) of the Government's lowest paid workers also admitted to fretting about money worries during the night.

Thirty eight per cent of civil servants lie awake at night worrying whether Gordon Brown can fix Britain's fiscal mess and whether a Tory Government is imminent. Whilst the recent outbreak of swine flu has been stressing 47% of the nations doctors and nurses resulting in them having sleepless nights.

Ewan Crawford, Senior Sleep Investigator from Edinburgh Sleep Centre said: "This research highlights that sleep deprivation is certainly a widespread problem across the UK, especially as 83% of British workers have reported to getting less than the prescribed eight hours of sleep each night of the working week. Even though the credit crunch has moved on a year, the economic climate is still fuelling this sleep disorder. Money worries and concerns regarding job security are the two key drivers of stress; which in turn are leading to significant sleep loss across the British workforce. Its no surprise that the public sector is hit the hardest in this year's poll, especially as workers are so uncertain of their future. In contrast it could be seen as the housing industry is moving upwards as Estate Agents are getting more sleep this year perhaps their length of sleep is a good marker for the state of the housing market."

" It's a vicious circle, although workers may fret about their job and have financial worries they cannot afford to sacrifice their sleep quota. Having sleepless nights on a long term basis can be very detrimental on your health and it will affect your productivity and overall well being. Therefore it is essential to invest in topping up you're sleep quota when possible to ensure your getting eight hours of sleep on a regular basis."

Leigh McCarron, Travelodge's Director of Sleep said: "It seems the stress and strain of working within the public sector is certainly taking its toll as teachers, civil servants, doctors and nurses make the 2009 sleep professions deprivation poll for the first time. In today's economy British professionals are working through one of the hardest times within their careers. Worrying about job security and finances are key stress triggers which are leading to significant sleep loss."

Other key findings from the 2009 Travelodge sleep revealed:

Eighty three per cent of British workers admitted getting less than the prescribed eight hours of sleep each night of the working week.

Thirty per cent of workers reported they have sleepless nights due to worrying about work. Thirty five per cent of respondents reported that financial worries keep them up at night and 25% of adults stated family concerns stop them from sleeping

Forty six per cent of workers spend their weekend catching up on sleep they have missed during the week.

The top five bedtime tipples for British workers are
Gin and tonic

Twenty per cent of British workers will have a work related nightmare at least once a week during the working week. The top three nightmares are being chased by your boss, falling from a great height and being stranded.

Twenty per cent of respondents reported having a nightmare of Gordon Brown.

The top ten professions which get the most sleep are listed below

1. Sales - 7 hours 38 minutes
2. Housewife - 7 hours 37 minutes
3. IT - 7 hours 33 minutes
4. Company Directors - 7 hours 31 minutes
5. Students - 7 hours 30 minutes
6. Accountants - 7 hours 24 minutes
7. Financial Advisors - 7 hours 23 minutes
8. Police Force - 7 hours 22 minutes
9. Transport bustrain driver - 7 hours 21 minutes
10. Fire Brigade - 7 hours 20 minutes

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