herald

Sunday 20 January 2019

We are losing an hour's sleep each night since crash

WORRY: Job stress keeps us awake

IRISH workers have lost an hour's sleep a night since the downturn, a new survey claims.

And, not surprisingly, bankers are among the top three professions most affected.

Stress and worry are keeping Irish professionals awake at night with thousands getting fewer than the recommended eight hours' sleep, according to a national survey of 500 Irish people from some 15 professions by budget hotel group, Travelodge Ireland.

The survey found that in 2010 28pc of Irish workers took a day off following a bad night's sleep; 70pc blamed stress resulting from the economy and job security for this lack of sleep and 54pc attributed a lack of sleep for their inability to concentrate and get through their workload. All of the above are having a significant impact on Ireland's productivity.

The professions most affected are: 1. small and medium enterprises company directors (5.5hrs); 2. shift workers -- doctors, nurses, emergency services (5.5hrs); 3. bankers (6hrs); 4. taxi drivers (6hrs); 5 public sector administrators (6.5hrs); 6. mortgage providers/estate agents (6.5hrs); 7. tradesmen -- electricians, plumbers, carpenters (6.75hrs); 8. solicitors (7hrs); 9. insurance brokers (7hrs); 10 retail workers (7.5hrs).

Workload

Directors of small to medium businesses fare worst, surviving on an average of 5.6 hours instead of the recommended eight a night, resulting in a loss of two nights sleep a week, or 13 years over a working life.

This drop has been attributed to stress over redundancies, an increase in workload, the company's finances and bank loans.

People on a variety of shift patterns, notably doctors and those in the emergency services, are also very poor sleepers, said to be from the body's inability to cope with changing sleep patterns and increases in workload due to recruitment freezes.

Bankers, who were once sound snoozers, are now the third worst sleepers in the country, followed closely by taxi drivers, while most trades people claimed they sleep on average one hour less a night.

The average worker misses out on seven hours of sleep a week -- the equivalent of a whole night's sleep -- due to job worries, stress and irregular shift patterns, the survey said.

mlavery@herald.ie

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