Research has found those working gruelling hours across the public sector are being left worryingly sleep deprived- with many only managing a shocking SIX hours sleep per night.

Does this look familiar?

Does this look familiar?

A study by the University of Leeds - commissioned and funded by Silentnight - found nearly a third of Brits were left suffering from sleepless nights, as a result of working more than 40 hours a week and continued work pressures and stress.

Worryingly across the public sector the report found high numbers of employees struggling from lack of sleep.

Desperately juggling the balance of a busy work life and a healthy night's sleep, people who worked in the public sector including education, health, and local government, slept for six hours a night on average which is below the NHS recommendation of 7-8 hours per night.

Furthermore, a quarter of those working in social care suffer from dangerously low averages of five hours or less per night.

Interestingly the research found those working in high pressure, business management or consultancy roles also suffered from extremely low levels of sleep - with 50 percent of those surveyed getting a dangerously low five hours or less sleep per night.

Unsurprisingly it seems it is true what they say about the great outdoors and how fresh air can leave you craving your bed.

Those working in sports, fitness and tourism were among the best sleepers in Britain, with most of those surveyed maintaining a healthy, recommended, seven to eight hours sleep a night, and reporting higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels or work related stress.

From the research a quarter of Britons admitted they experienced significant problems getting off to sleep at nighttime.

Scarily two in ten people reported high levels of daily dysfunction in relation to tiredness - including problems staying awake, socialising, feeling enthusiastic about day to day tasks, driving and maintaining concentration.

Work life balance appears challenging for many Brits, with 21 percent reporting that they work over 40 hours a week and 30 percent also reporting that their work negatively affects their sleep.

Interestingly despite the pressures, only a small number of the Brits sampled (three percent) claimed to use sleep medication to help them get some shut eye.

Those who consider their jobs to be stressful were significantly more likely to take longer to fall asleep, be unhappy with their sleep and to sleep less. Furthermore both lack of sleep and stress at work are associated with reduced health related quality of life.

University of Leeds, Lead scientist, Dr Anna Weighall, who worked on the Silentnight sleep study, said: "With nearly a quarter of Brits reporting working over 40 hours a week, the public sector included, work life balance appears to be challenging many busy Brits. Especially when it comes to maintaining their sleep.

"There is certainly evidence to suggest that significant numbers of participants perceive work as negatively affecting their sleep.

"What is interesting is our research reveals a resounding message that while some jobs may be better than others for our sleep health, there is a worrying trend evident across all sectors that actually workers are suffering from consistently low levels of sleep.

"The extent to which our work is stressful and working long hours seem to be important factors associated with poor sleep. And in many cases Brits are sleeping below the recommended amount.

"Given that good sleep health has been shown to be crucial for our health and wellbeing this is a real public health issue.

"Many respondents reported work and job-related stress impacted on their sleep, with 42 per cent of the people we spoke to branding their job stressful, it is unsurprising sleep patterns are affected."

For more information about the Silentnight research, please contact [email protected] or call 0161 839 1986


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