Tired tech workers lose 27 hours of sleep per month

Our work is affecting our sleep habits -- and workers in healthcare and tech lose the most sleep each month, according to a new survey.

Sleep is crucial for good health regulating our mood, affecting our productivity, concentration, and weight -- and it's the key to a healthy lifestyle.

But according to a study on 2,500 adults by online bed store Bedstar, we are missing out on a staggering 32.3 hours of sleep each month.

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When compared across industries, it may come as no surprise to find that those working in the healthcare industry were the most sleep-deprived, missing out on a whopping 42.4 hours per month.

The industry in which people have the lowest sleep debt was public services, even though it was still a significant amount at 21.6 hours per month.

The survey on sleep habits showed that on average employees in the technology industry miss out on 27 hours per month.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, this "sleep debt" is described as "the difference between the amount of sleep that you need and the amount that you are actually getting."

It seems clear that we are not getting enough sleep -– but are we aware of it? The survey seems to show that we are, as it also revealed that 31.8 percent of sleep-deprived people repay their sleep debt by binge sleeping on weekends. 

So, why aren't we getting enough sleep? According to the survey, almost three our of four (73.5 percent) say they often struggle to fall asleep at night, and it takes 54 minutes on average to fall asleep. 

It is hardly surprising that we find it hard to switch off, given our reliance on technology -- and coffee -- for our leisure activities.

The survey revealed that more than one in 10 (11.4 percent) admit to drinking caffeine (tea, coffee, or energy drinks) at night, and 30.7 percent use their mobile phones every night just before going to bed.

Unfortunately, some experts argue that there is no way to repay long-term sleep debt. The recommendations are to change your habits to make sure you get sufficient rest to live the healthiest life possible.

They also advise sticking to a regular sleep and wake schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol -- especially before bed -- and that you get some daily exercise.

Also: SleepScore launches free app to use smartphone to monitor sleep

Experts also recommend that you switch off your electronic devices at least an hour before you go to sleep, and keep all of your technology out of the bedroom.

If we can dump the stress, caffeine, and tech devices, then we might be able to reclaim that elusive, much-needed eight hours sleep per night.

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