When I was in college all I wanted to do is stay awake. Now that I’m fully grown, sleep is the most precious commodity around and I can never seem to get enough of it. Even as an adult graduate student I fought with myself to stay awake when my body was screaming for rest and would squeeze my beloved eight hours in wherever I could get ’em. Still, life as a student is almost always more flexible than a 9-5 job with a commute and possible overtime — does anyone get eight hours of sleep anymore?

The Centers for Disease Control National Health Interview Survey of 27,000 Americans found that hardly anyone gets the reccomended eight hours of sleep every night, with most of us only catching a little over 7 hours of z’s. The top 10 most sleep-deprived professions are:

  1. Home health aids
  2. Lawyers
  3. Police officers
  4. Physicians
  5. Economists
  6. Social workers
  7. Computer programmers
  8. Financial analysts
  9. Plant operators
  10. Secretaries

I’d also guess that the absent occupation “full time mom” would rank pretty high on the sleeplessness list, along with freelancers and other entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the study also found that hair stylists, teachers, bartenders, and sales representatives are among the most-rested workers, but only by 20-30 minutes per night. We can blame work, stress, or simply not being tired for not getting enough, but experts say that the amount of sleep we get every night determines our overall health and ability to function, so why aren’t we making it a priority?


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