It turns out that the career you choose has a huge impact on your sleeping habits. If only we knew this back when we were choosing our GCSEs.
Basically, it stems down to a few different factors. Whether that be long shifts, stress or travel, a study by Hillary’s has found out what are the top five careers for the least amount of sleep.
- Healthcare – 4 hours 15 minutes
- Law enforcement – 4 hours 30 minutes
- Teaching – 4 hours 35 minutes
- Journalists – 4 hours 50 minutes
- Hospitality – 5 hours
While on the other hand, these are the jobs where people get the most sleep (on average)…
- Hair and beauty – 9 hours 40 minutes
- Telemarketers – 8 hours 45 minutes
- Insurance – 8 hours 20 minutes
- Retail – 8 hours 15 minutes
- Construction – 8 hours 10 minutes
Wow. Looks like those in hair and beauty have got it absolutely nailed.
If you struggle to sleep, have you tried the military trick to getting off to the land of nod in just two minutes?
We’ve all been there, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, hoping and praying that sometime soon you’ll actually fall asleep and not feel awful the following morning.
There’s few things in life that are more frustrating than that situation, you’ve tried everything from counting sheep to herbal tea to endlessly browsing Twitter but you just cannot. Fall. Asleep.
Obviously it’s annoying whatever your career, though being unable to sleep when you’re in the army? That’s a whole new level of problem.
Think going to a 9am lecture is bad after a few hours kip? Try taking part in military exercises or you know, war?
It’s no surprise then that soldiers have special techniques to help them get off to the land of nod.
One of these was revealed in a classic book entitled Relax and Win: Championship Performance, which was written by Lloyd Bud Winter, an American sprint coach who produced 102 All-Americans, 27 who went on to become Olympians, over a 29-year coaching career at the San Jose State College.
The book discusses how much importance the military placed on sleep after pilots began making avoidable mistakes due to tiredness.
These are the steps:
1. Relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw, and the muscles around your eyes.
2. Drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go before relaxing your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other.
3. Breathe out, relax your chest and then finally, relax your legs, starting with your thighs and then your lower legs.
4. After 10 seconds of deep relaxation, the next step is to completely clear your mind.
Winter suggests picturing one of the following three images will help:
a) Lying in a canoe on a calm lake, nothing but blue sky above you.
b) Snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.
c) Saying “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for ten seconds.
Apparently the technique has a 96 per cent success rate after six weeks of practice, why not give it a go next time you’re struggling to get your shut-eye?