Getting Enough Sleep?

Getting Enough Sleep?

Author: Samantha Matsumura

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need 7--9 hours of sleep per night. Among many working adults, not meeting the required sleep range is common. A study published by the CDC compares the varying sleep durations among 90 detailed occupation groups spanning multiple states. This accounts for sleep durations less than 7 hours.

Researchers evaluated a prevalence of 36.5% among working adults with short sleep durations. However, higher prevalence can be found with occupations that operate alternative shiftwork. Some examples of these higher prevalence jobs are in production or healthcare. Other occupation groups such as teachers or farmers were more likely to get enough sleep.

Lack of rest from short duration sleep pose negative health risks on your body. Perceived difficulty was 50% greater in carrying out several daily activities from being too sleepy or tired for those who slept less than 7 hours. Some health outcomes can include cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, and even safety concerns related to drowsiness. The research from this study suggests occupation is a significant factor in sleep analysis and interventions.

About 179,621 employed adults were analyzed and broken up into 22 major groups, which were further split into 93 detailed occupation groups. The prevalence of short sleep duration was calculated from this data. Within the major groups, short sleep duration adjusted prevalence ranged from:

  • 42.9% - among production workers
  • 31.3% - among farming, fishing, forestry, education, training, and libraries

Within major groups, high adjusted prevalence includes:

  • 40.1% - among healthcare support
  • 40% - among healthcare practitioners and technical
  • 39.8% - among food preparation and serving-related

Within the detailed occupation groups, short sleep duration adjusted prevalence ranged from:

  • 58.2% - among communications equipment operators
  • 21.4% - among air transportation workers (e.g., pilots)

Within detailed groups, high adjusted prevalence includes:

  • 43.3% - nursing, psychiatric, home health aides (in healthcare support major group)
  • 54% - transportation (e.g., parking attendants)
  • 52.7% - rail transportation workers (e.g., locomotive engineers)

Healthcare providers can advise patients on lifestyle changes to improve sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

  1. Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
  2. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.
  3. Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other "gadgets" from the bedroom.
  4. Avoid large meals before bedtime.
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