Longer Work Days Leave Americans Nodding Off On the Job

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Monday, March 3, 2008

on top of their other responsibilities like childcare and household maintenance – ‘ something has to give.’ Unfortunately, that something is usually ‘nighttime sleep,’” stated Drobnich. “When work and daily activities demand so much of our time, sleep is often sacrificed. People tend to give up sleep, when getting a good night’s sleep should be at the top of everyone’s list to ensure maximum daytime performance both at work and home.”

Coping with Sleepiness

In today’s fast-paced culture, Americans are somewhat likely to use a variety of behaviors to cope with their sleepiness. In fact, when asked what they do to cope with sleepiness during the day:

  • 84 percent say that they just accept it and keep going;
  • 58 percent of respondents say they consume caffeinated beverages;
  • 38 percent say they choose foods high in sugar and carbohydrates;
  • 37 percent say they will later take a nap;
  • And, five percent take alerting medications.

Additionally, some respondents choose to adjust their sleep when they are sleepy during the day. Approximately 61 percent say they are at least somewhat likely to go to bed early that night to make up for lost sleep, while 54 percent say they will make up for it by getting more sleep on the weekends, and 37 percent say they take a nap (of approximately one hour duration).

Interestingly, some of today’s employers permit napping at work. More than one third of Americans (34%) say that their workplace permits napping during breaks at work, with 16 percent reporting that their employer even provides a place for them to nap. An additional 26 percent say they would nap on a break at work if their employer were to allow it.

Work Schedule Impacts Sleep

Today, Americans participate in a wide variety of work schedules. This year’s Sleep in America poll also sought to examine how different work schedules may impact the quality and quantity of sleep. Following is a breakdown of sleep, alertness and other related behaviors based on work schedule.

Part-Time Workers are predominantly female (63%) compared to those with who work full time or more than

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