Sleep Deprived? Why You’re in Good Company and What to Do About it

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Here's what's keeping 44 percent of American workers awake at night -- and why employers are growing concerned.

Are you sluggish, bleary-eyed and yawning on the job? You’re not alone.

Roughly 3 in 5 American workers (58 percent) say they’re not getting enough sleep at night, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. What’s worse is that 61 percent of workers say being sleep-deprived is taking a toll on their work, affecting everything from time management to motivation and co-worker relations.

Although doctors recommend that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep at night, a mere 16 percent of American workers said they hit that sleep goal. Most – 63 percent – told CareerBuilder that they get six to seven hours of zzz’s each night, while 21 percent said they log five hours or less.

So, what’s preventing American workers from getting eight blissful hours of rest? For many, it’s work.

That’s right. As much as insufficient sleep negatively impacts many Americans’ work – and prevents some people from showing up at work – CareerBuilder says the reverse is true: A whopping 44 percent of workers said worrying about their job keeps them up at night.

About 40 percent of workers said they’re so tired during the workday that they would utilize a work “nap room” if one was available. And some employers are taking note.

“Rest is an undervalued necessity these days,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “We see more and more workers check into the office at all hours of the day, give up vacation time and work even when they’re sick. Yet it’s not necessarily making us more productive, and companies are starting to recognize that. We’re starting to see companies put more emphasis on employee wellness and work/life balance – whether it’s providing designated ‘nap rooms’ for employees, encouraging them to take advantage of their vacation time or simply giving them more flexibility in their work schedules.”

Melissa Heisler, a life coach and author of the book “From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop ‘Doing’ Life and Start Living It,” told MarketWatch that an easy way for workers to minimize work stress and improve their sleep is to manage their electronics use.

“When the communication pops up, you stop what you are doing, you read the email, and you say, oh, it’s not urgent, and you go back to your project and then another email pops up and you do the same thing,” she explains. “This is an amazing waste of time and focus. Turn off notifications for your email, texts and social media. Instead carve out time slots during the day to check communications.”

More than 3,200 American workers were surveyed by Harris Poll for the CareerBuilder sleep study.

Check out “How Sleep (or Lack of It) Can Affect Your Bottom Line.”

Want tips on how to get more zzz’s? Try “18 Affordable Tips to Help You Sleep Like a Baby.”

What do you think of the worker sleep survey? Do you stay up at night worrying about work? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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