NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Next time you feel like complaining that you don’t get enough sleep, make sure there aren’t any lawyers or home health aides in the room.
Lawyers get an average of seven hours of sleep a night while home health aides sleep for just six hours and 57 minutes, making these the two most sleep-deprived professions in the U.S., according to a recent analysis of government data conducted ever so fittingly by Sleepy’s. Other professionals like police officers and paramedics rank among the worst as well, grabbing just a few minutes more shut-eye than home health aides.
The fact that home health aides get so little sleep is particularly disconcerting considering that this is the second-fastest growing profession in the country, and is expected to add more than 700,000 workers between 2010 and 2020. While it’s certainly nice work if you can get it, we hope those who apply for these jobs in the coming years take an honest look at how it may impact their lifestyle and their health.
That said, the overall difference in sleep times between the various professions isn’t as much as one might think. Hairstylists and sales representatives, the second and third most well-rested professions respectively, sleep for about seven hours and 15 minutes each. Meanwhile, forest and logging workers, the least sleep-deprived of all professions, sleep for seven hours and 20 minutes. That’s only 23 minutes more sleep time than home health aides get on average, or about two and a half snooze alarms. To be fair though, that can feel like a lot of extra time to stay in bed in the morning.
What’s really striking about the study is that even the most well-rested professions get significantly less than the eight hours of sleep a night that many recommend. So don’t feel too bad if you can’t remember the last time you slept from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. on a weeknight, because chances are most of the people you pass on your way to work feel the same way.
Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.