Sleep apnea

Need more sleep? Your job could be to blame


Feeling as though you regularly don’t get enough sleep? It could be because of your job.


According to the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, people with jobs that carry a fair amount of stress don’t do as well in the sleeping department. Alternatively, those who have low-stress jobs or those that are limited by factors such as daylight-only hours tend to get more shut-eye.


The survey looked at 20 professions and ranked those that are the most sleep-deprived and the most well-rested, based on the average hours of sleep that respondents said they got in a 24-hour period. Keeping in mind the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep nightly, according to the National Sleep Foundation, even the professions deemed well-rested in the survey don’t get much beyond the seven-hour minimum.


According to the survey (the full list can be seen here), the top five most sleep-deprived jobs and their corresponding average length of sleep are:


  1. Home health aides - 6 hours, 57 minutes
  2. Lawyers - 7 hours
  3. Police officers - 7 hours, 1 minute
  4. Physicians/paramedics - 7 hours, 2 minutes
  5. Economists - 7 hours, 3 minutes


In contrast, the top five most well-rested jobs and their corresponding average length of sleep are:


  1. Forest/logging workers - 7 hours, 20 minutes
  2. Hairstylists - 7 hours, 16 minutes
  3. Sales representatives - 7 hours, 15 minutes
  4. Bartenders - 7 hours, 14 minutes
  5. Construction workers - 7 hours, 13 minutes


If your job is on the sleep-deprived list, it’s still possible to get a good night’s sleep.


Practice good sleeping habits, including staying on a regular sleep schedule and creating an evening bedtime ritual to help your body get ready to sleep. You don’t—or shouldn't—have to do anything as drastic as changing your profession.

Related articles

  • How to tell you need a new mattress

    How to tell you need a new mattress

    Your mattress could be one of the most powerful tools you have to fight off a host of health issues including colds and flus, obesity, depression, heart disease and other maladies.

  • Is insomnia hereditary?

    Is insomnia hereditary?

    Scientists say some people’s genes increase their stress-reactivity. And that increased stress response increases the likelihood of poor sleep and developing insomnia.

  • Sleep’s role in everything

    Sleep’s role in everything

    There’s a growing recognition that sleep appears to be involved in regulating basic metabolic processes and even in mental health.”