Fatigue Research/studies

Workers sacrifice sleep for job: study

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Photo: RyanSebastyan/iStock/Thinkstock

Philadelphia – Americans sacrifice sleep for work more than other any activity, but strategies such as delayed work start times could help combat the problem, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania.

Researchers analyzed nearly 125,000 responses from Americans 15 and older who participated in the American Time Use Survey between 2003 and 2011. They found that workers who slept six hours or less worked 1.55 more hours on weekdays and 1.86 more hours on weekends or holidays than workers who got “normal” sleep, in addition to beginning work earlier and ending later. Workers with multiple jobs were 61 percent more likely to sleep six hours or less.

Employees who began work by 6 a.m. slept an average of six hours, while those who started work between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. averaged almost 90 minutes more sleep.

According to a press release, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get about seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimal health and daytime alertness.

Researchers recommended raising awareness about sleep benefits and changing behaviors that decrease sleep, such as TV viewing and morning preparation.

The study was published in the December issue of the journal Sleep.