Longer Work Days Leave Americans Nodding Off On the Job

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Date:
Monday, March 3, 2008

50 hours per week say they get less than 6 hours of sleep per night on workdays with 36 percent saying that they only get a good night’s sleep a few nights per week or less. Other characteristics of extended hour workers:

  • Four in every ten (40%) report driving drowsy at least once a month in the past year.
  • The majority of this group (86%) say they just “accept it and keep going” when sleepy during the workday;
  • 55 percent say they consume caffeinated beverages to help cope with sleepiness, consuming an average of 2.68 cups/cans per day;
  • 47 percent of this group say that they never take naps to make up their sleep, but 13 percent say that they nap while at work;
  • 28 percent report using a sleep aid at least a few nights each week;
  • Those who work more than 50 hours per week report symptoms that put them at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (16%).

Shift Workers are also predominantly male (70%) with 30 percent of this group reporting that they only get a good night’s sleep a few night’s per month or less. A third (33%) of shift workers state that they sleep less than six hours per night on workdays with 18 percent of this group reporting a doctor telling them that they have obstructive sleep apnea. Other sleep-related attributes for shift workers include:

  • The majority of shift workers (82%) say that they just “accept it and keep going” when they experience daytime sleepiness;
  • 67 percent report consuming caffeinated beverages to help cope with daytime sleepiness, consuming an average of 3.02 cups/cans per day;
  • 49 percent report consuming foods high in sugar and carbohydrates when experiencing sleepiness, and
  • 28 percent report the use of sleep aids;
  • Shift workers report high rates of:
    • Drowsy driving with nearly half (48%) reporting that they have driven drowsy at least once per month in the past year;
    • Napping with 64 percent saying that they take one or more naps per month and 16 percent report napping at work;
    • Intimate relationships affected by sleepiness (25%);
    • Daytime sleepiness interfering
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