Occupation and pay has an effect on our quality of sleep, according to The Great British Bedtime Report from the UK’s Sleep Council.
The research for the report was conducted using an online poll in January of this year. More than 5,000 UK adults completed the survey, which asked them questions about their bedtime habits, occupation and household income.
According to the report, couples who have a household income of less than around $54,400 (£35,000) a year are less likely to sleep together.
The survey showed that of those who earn below the $54,400 threshold, 77% of couples say they sleep together every night, compared with 82% of those earning over $54,400 per annum.
Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council, adds:
“The most startling statistics were how household income, or lack of it, is clearly taking its toll on relationships […] Among those earning less than £25k [around $39,000], 12% said they never sleep with their spouse or partner. Among those not working at all the figure is 13%.”
Alexander goes on to say: “[It appears around $54,400] would be a clear dividing line in terms of the number of couples who share the same bed, and once you get to the over the £55,000 [$85,000] income bracket, the percentage of couples sleeping together rises further to up to 86%.” The Sleep Council is a consumer education body funded by the trade association for British bed manufacturers.
The survey also showed that individuals who earn more also get a better night’s sleep.
Of those earning more than around $116,000 (£75,000) a year:
- 83% said they slept either “very well” or “fairly well”
- Versus 67% of people who were unemployed.
Those who earn over about $116,000 are also less likely to use remedies to help them sleep, with 53% saying they have never needed such assistance.
The report, from the revealed that those earning under about $23,000 (£15,000) per annum were most likely to need sleep remedies, with 15% of them needing to consult their doctors because of this.
Additionally, the survey showed how different occupations can affect how a person sleeps.
Those who work within arts and culture are the most likely to be kept awake at night through worry and stress, and are also the most likely to go to bed after midnight.
People who work within legal professions are the most likely to get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep each night, while those working within the architecture, engineering or building professions are the most likely to get less than 7 hours sleep each night.
The report also noted that around 23% of those working in sales, marketing, architecture, engineering and building, used alcohol as a way of helping them sleep.
This is the latest report to show that work and money worries can lead to stress, which in turn, can have a major effect on our health.
A stress-filled job can lead to periods of insomnia, according to the stress and insomnia webpage from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). They add that stress can cause “hyperarousal,” which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness and lead to various health issues.
A 2012 study from University College London suggested that stress caused by work could increase the risk of heart attack.
Another recent August 2013 study from UC Berkeley suggests a link between sleep deprivation and obesity.
The NSF advice suggests “three steps of relaxation” to combat insomnia caused by stress from work or other issues. These are:
- Set your bedtime and wake-up time according to number of hours sleep you are currently getting but increase it gradually by 15 minutes every few nights
- Spend 2 hours before bedtime “winding down”
- Focus on “conditioning” yourself for different sleep behavior. For example, only use the bedroom for “sleep, sex and changing clothes,” but use another room when you are experiencing “unpleasant” times awake.