Longer Work Days Leave Americans Nodding Off On the Job

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Date:
Monday, March 3, 2008

Sleepy Americans Doze Off At Work, In the Car and On Their Spouses

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2008 — Prolonged work days that often extend late into the night may cause Americans to fall asleep or feel sleepy at work, drive drowsy and lose interest in sex, according to a new Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Spending an average of nearly 4.5 hours each week doing additional work from home on top of a 9.5 hour average workday, Americans are working more and are trying to cope with the resulting daytime sleepiness. In fact, 63 percent state they are very likely to just accept their sleepiness and keep going, while 32 percent are very likely to use caffeinated beverages when they are sleepy during the day and more than half (54%) are at least somewhat likely to use their weekends to try to catch up on sleep.

Of those taking their work home with them, 20 percent say they spend 10 or more additional hours each week and 25 percent spend at least 7 additional hours each week on job-related duties. Almost one-quarter (23%) of all respondents did job-related work in the hour before going to bed at least a few nights each week.

Working too much and sleeping too little takes a serious toll on people’s professional and personal lives.

The poll finds:

  • 29 percent of those polled fell asleep or became very sleepy at work in the past month;
  • 36 percent have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving, with; 32 percent reporting that they drive drowsy at least 1 to 2 times per month and 26 percent drive drowsy during the workday;
  • 20 percent have sex less often or have lost interest in sex because they are too sleepy;
  • 14 percent have missed family events, work functions and leisure activities in the past month due to sleepiness;
  • 12 percent were late to work in the past month because of sleepiness.

“Nearly 50 million Americans chronically suffer from sleep problems and disorders that affect their careers, their personal relationships and safety on our

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