WORKPLACE STRESS STEALS AN HOUR AND A QUARTER OF OUR SLEEP EVERY NIGHT
5th Sep 2013
Having a heavy workload, feeling undervalued, working to constant tight deadlines and having to deal with irritating colleagues are the top workplace pressures that are stealing one hour and 14 minutes of British workers’ sleep every night according to a new sleep report out today.
The annual sleep and professions report conducted by Travelodge surveyed 2,000 British workers and reveals that British workers are having to survive on just six hours and 27 minutes sleep every night - which is one hour and thirty three minutes below the recommend sleep quota of eight hours of sleep per night.
Three out of ten workers have reported that they get less sleep now in comparison to a year ago, whilst a fifth of employees regard sleep a luxury.
Listed below are the top ten most popular work related bedtime worries that are keeping British workers awake at night.
1. Heavy workload
2. Job dissatisfaction
3. Feeling undervalued
4. Irritating co-workers
5. Job security
6. Imminent deadlines
7. Poor delegation
8. Long hours
10. Quality of output
The report has revealed that workers within the banking profession have to cope with the least amount of sleep across the UK. On average banking workers are currently getting just five hours and 50 minutes shut eye every night. In addition they spend one hour and 40 minutes worrying about work between the sheets – with heavy workloads and job security cited as the two most common reasons for not being able to switch off and sleep.
Of the industries and professions polled, public sector workers are amongst the most likely of all to be kept awake by work anxiety. With cuts to the public sector coming on top of pay freezes and pension cuts, it comes as little surprise to find teachers, nurses and public servants dominating the list of worst sleeping professions.
As a result of bedtime blues, the average teacher gets just six hours and four minutes of sleep every night and nurses get just six hours and eleven minutes, with both professions citing heavy workloads, a feeling of not being valued and job dissatisfaction as top of their night time anxieties.
The table below highlights the nation’s top ten most sleep deprived professions in the UK.
The survey found that seniority in the workplace brings an ability to sleep for longer and to worry about work less. Of all the workers polled, senior managers get the most shuteye, sleeping for seven hours and 30 minutes each night – meaning that they spend 93% of their time in bed fast asleep – having put work out of their mind in just 11 minutes.
Stevie Williams, Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: “Research shows that frequently not getting enough sleep has strong negative effects on health and performance. Relaxation techniques such as meditating or having long showers or baths, as well as avoiding caffeine and winding down just before bed by staying away from high intensity interactive technology can all help aid stress management, making it easier to fall asleep and maintain that sleep.
“Having a sleep environment that is quiet, dark, away from TV, videogames and computers, well ventilated and cool will help. However, there are some people who are simply “owls”, that is, more nocturnal than their “lark” colleagues, who find it difficult to fit in to a 9-5 lifestyle. On top of this, there are many varieties of sleep disorders.”
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: “There is an expectation in today's society to fit more into our lives. The struggle to maintain a work life balance is causing too many of us to trade in precious sleeping time in a bid to ensure we complete all of the jobs that we believe are expected of us.
“Taking work stresses to our beds can seriously impact our ability to get a good night's sleep, and it can soon become a vicious cycle where a lack of quality rest exacerbates these problems.
“Whatever your working situation, it's important to try and set aside some downtime before bed, so that you can switch off and attain quality sleep. In the long run it will help you to perform better at work and this should bring stress levels down."
Further research findings revealed that Britain’s workforce is fast becoming a nation that likes to just work, play and not rest. In addition to not getting enough sleep during the week, nearly half of workers (48%) claim they don’t have time in their busy schedule for a weekend lie-in any more (so that they can catch up on lost sleep).
This growing problem of sleep deprivation is not just affecting Britons welfare but is also hitting the British economy too, as over a fifth (21)% of adults surveyed reported they have pulled a one-day ‘sickie’ from work over the last 12 months due to being up the night before worrying about work.
This means that 6.25 million sick days* have been taken as a result of worrying about work in bed, which is 2.8 million more than the 3.4 million sick days taken in 2008 due to lack of sleep.