U.S. Workers Suffer from Inadequate Sleep

U.S. Workers Suffer from Inadequate Sleep

Thirty percent of American workers report sleeping 6 or fewer hours a day, which could lead to fatigue and on-the-job safety risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) April 27 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

"Insufficient sleep can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for fatigued workers and others around them," the report stated. "For example, an estimated 20% of vehicle crashes are linked to drowsy driving."

"Short sleep duration" refers to receiving 6 or fewer hours of sleep a day, compared to the 7-9 hours of sleep recommended by The National Sleep Foundation.

The report found:

· Employees in the manufacturing sector particularly were likely to report getting inadequate sleep (34.1 percent).
· Night shift workers had a higher prevalence of short sleep duration (44 percent) compared to day shift workers (28.8 percent).
· Night shift employees in the transportation and warehousing sectors had an especially high occurrence of short sleep duration (69.7 percent).
· 52.3 percent of night shift workers in the health care and social assistance sector reported short sleep durations.
· Workers with more than one job had a higher prevalence of short sleep duration (37 percent) compared to workers with one job (29.4 percent).
· Employees working more than 40 hours a week had a higher prevalence of short sleep duration (36.2 percent) compared to those who worked 40 hours or fewer (27.7 percent).

CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and compared sleep duration by age group, race/ethnicity, sex, marital status, education and employment characteristics. The research reveals that overall, 30 percent of working American adults (approximately 40.6 million workers) reported an average sleep duration of 6 or fewer hours per day.

"Targeted interventions, such as evidence-based shift system designs that improve sleep opportunities and evidence-based training programs on sleep and working hours tailored for managers and employees … should be implemented to protect the health and safety of workers, their coworkers and the public," the report stated.

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