Study: Physically demanding jobs affect sleep

Physically Demanding JobsThe amount of physical activity your job requires could cause you to sleep too little or too much, according to a new study,which could, in turn, affect your job performance overall.

Research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that people with even moderate-activity jobs that required more walking than sitting were more likely to sleep too little (six hours or less) or too much (nine hours or more) each night.2

The National Sleep Foundation recommended that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.This means that individuals holding moderate-activity jobs, such as postal workers or certified medical assistants, may be at risk for getting the improper amount of sleep.

But does getting the recommend amount of sleep really make that much of a difference? According to Harvard Medical School, the answer is yes.4 Sleep has a variety of health benefits, including:

Memory and focus

Many jobs in health care, such as medical billing and coding, rely on individuals who have good memories and are able to focus on the job. Without sleep, it can be difficult to accomplish either of these tasks because your brain is not given the opportunity to rest and commit new information to memory. In fact, studies have shown that people who sleep after learning something new do better when tested on it later.5

Better overall health

Eating well and exercising regularly are important for maintaining good health, but so is getting enough sleep! While it certainly can’t make you immune to the common cold or other things you may be exposed to while working in health care, it may help you avoid more serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes.6

Safety

Being sleep deprived is a sure-fire way to accidentally make mistakes on the job. When you are responsible for patient care, whether they are humans or animals, this can be extremely dangerous. Not getting enough sleep at night could cause you to lose focus during the day and make medical errors or get in a car accident.7

Better mood

Looking for a way to boost your mood on the job? Getting more sleep may help! Not only does sleep affect your emotional regulation, not getting enough can also cause you to be irritable – in other words, downright cranky. You’ll be able to be more cheerful on the job if you get enough shut eye each night.8

1 Penn Medicine, ‘Higher-activity Jobs Tied to Sleep Extremes,’ June 3, 2013 -http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2013/06/barilla/
Penn Medicine, ‘Higher-activity Jobs Tied to Sleep Extremes,’ June 3, 2013 -http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2013/06/barilla/
3 National Sleep Foundation, ‘How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?’ 2013 -http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/white-papers/how-much-sleep-do-adults-need
4 Harvard Health Publications, ‘Importance of Sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep,’ Jan. 2006 -http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health
Harvard Health Publications, ‘Importance of Sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep,’ Jan. 2006 -http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health
6 Griffin, R. Morgan, WebMD, ‘9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep,’ 2013 -http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more
7 Harvard Health Publications, ‘Importance of Sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep,’ Jan. 2006 -http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health
8 Griffin, R. Morgan, WebMD, ‘9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep,’ 2013 -http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more

 

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