Significant Differences Among Occupational Groups Found in Short Sleep Duration

A CDC study evaluated sleep duration across 90 different occupational groups

According to a new study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, there are big differences in the amount of sleep people get depending on their occupation.

“We found that overall prevalence of short sleep duration was 36.5 percent among the working adults who responded to the survey – but sleep duration varied widely by occupation,” said study author Taylor Shockey, M.P.H. of CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). “Workers in occupations where alternative shiftwork is common, such as production, health care, and some transportation jobs, were more likely to have a higher adjusted prevalence of short sleep duration. Workers in other occupation groups, such as teachers, farmers, or pilots were the most likely to report getting enough sleep.”

Among the 22 major occupational groups that were researched, the prevalence of short sleep duration ranged from 42.9 percent for production workers to 31.3 percent among workers in the farming, fishing and forestry occupation group as well as the education, training and library occupation group.

Other groups that were found to have a high percentage of short sleep durations include: health care support, health care practitioners and technical, food preparation and serving-related and protective service.

"Short sleep duration has been linked to various negative health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression, as well as to safety issues related to drowsy driving and injuries,” said Shockey. “This research suggests that there are occupational differences in sleep duration making occupation an important factor to consider in sleep research and interventions."

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