The mattress retail company Sleepy's recently sent an interesting email briefly showing findings from its researchers. According to data mined from the National Health Interview Survey, they have come up with a list of which occupations are the most sleep deprived. This yearly study features interviews with 27,157 adults and was carried out under the watchful eye of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On average, the following occupations have workers who are the most drained from their jobs.
From most deprived of winks to least, the list goes like this: Home Health Aides, Lawyer, Police Officers, Physicians/Paramedics, Economists, Social Workers, Computer Programmers, Financial Analysts, Plant Operators, Secretaries.
The most surprising inclusion on this list would have to be the economists. I would assume that at least in academia that they should have plenty of pillow time with their flexible schedules. It might be that they simply prefer to work more, or that they have to. Not only high-power professionals like Larry Summers who love to work, but also graduate students who are pushed to publish might sacrifice sleep for work.
The reasons that other professions are included is almost blatantly obvious. These are high-stress occupations that have crazy hours.
Conversely, the following occupations were ranked by Sleepy's researchers as the most rested. From greatest rested to least, the list goes like this: Forest/Logging Workers, Hairstylists, Sales Representatives, Bartenders, Construction Workers, Athletes, Landscapers, Engineers, Aircraft Pilots, Teachers.
Except for the bartenders and engineers, exposure to the outdoors features in a lot of these professions. It might be that heavy physical work and a lot of time out in the sun has an effect on greater sleep time. As for the indoor jobs, I am clueless as to why they are so well-rested.
So how did Sleepy's researchers come up with these lists? There were two variables of interest to be found in the interviews. The first was the mean number that the participants claimed that they got in a full day. The second is the Department of Labor's classification of their occupation.