The 10 most sleep-deprived jobs

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The beginning of daylight saving time means the sun will shine for a little bit longer each evening. Yet in order to gain extra sunlight, an hour of sleep had to be sacrificed. While some workers may temporarily have trouble getting out of bed each morning, others deal with sleep deprivation all year long.

A recent ranking from mattress retailer Sleepy’s reveals the jobs that get the least amount of zzz’s each night. According to the list, which is based on independent analysis of individual sleep habits as reported in the National Health Interview Survey, the following 10 jobs are the most sleep-deprived:

1. Home health aides: Home health aides look after people in need of around-the-clock care, such as critically ill patients or older adults. The work is both physically and emotionally demanding and often requires overnight shifts.
Median hourly wage*: $9.84

2. Lawyers: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of those lawyers who work full time, about 33 percent work 50 or more hours per week. No wonder they aren’t getting the recommended eight hours of rest.
Median annual earnings: $110,590

3. Police officers: It’s not surprising that police officers made the list, considering the occupation was deemed one of America’s scariest jobs, according to a CareerBuilder survey. In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 40 percent had at least one sleep disorder.
Median annual earnings: $51,410

4. Physicians, paramedics: According to Sleepy’s, health-care professionals such as emergency medical technicians and paramedics work, on average, 180 hours more a year than the average worker and are often on call all night.  
Median hourly wage (paramedics): $14.10

5. Economists: While it might seem surprising that this profession made the list, the BLS notes that many work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules, which may require overtime.
Median annual earnings: $83,590

6. Social workers: According to the BLS, social workers often have large caseloads, leading to longer hours. Some also work evenings and weekends to meet with clients and tend to emergencies – all of which may lead to lack of sleep.
Median annual earnings: $39,530

7. Computer programmers: The website states that while most computer programmers work typical 40 hour weeks, longer hours may be required due to deadlines or technical problems.
Median annual earnings: $69,620

8. Financial analysts: Given that much of a financial analyst’s day is spent traveling, meeting with clients or answering calls, many must burn the midnight oil in order to complete their client work.
Median annual earnings: $73,150

9. Plant operators: According to the BLS, plant operators usually work one of three 8-hour shifts or one of two 12-hour shifts on a rotating basis. Working rotating shifts can cause stress and fatigue due to constant changes in living and sleeping patterns.
Median annual earnings (power plant operators): $58,470

10. Secretaries: Secretaries and administrative assistants have many people relying on them. They are expected to keep track of people’s schedules, coordinate meetings and book travel, among other duties. It would be easy to understand if a secretary was kept up at night thinking about the next day’s to-do list.
Median annual earnings: $29,050

Do you think your profession should’ve made the list? Tell us why in the comments section.

*Median hourly and annual earnings according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

  1. IT Managers should definitely be on the list – programmers have to work on projects – the IT Manager has to oversee every aspect of a company including interfaces with customers. If you have a web presence or a presence that spans multiple time zones, you are never away from work – even when on vacation. The systems always need attention and management.

  2. One you forgot to look at was a DSD Bread vender most of the are up @ 2 am and work 10 to 14 hours a day.  They never have 2 days off in a row and they are under stress to be perfect with their orders every day.

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