Sweet Dreams

Having a good night's sleep takes more than just a bedtime.

Month: February 2012

The Most Sleep Deprived Occupations

A recent study conducted for Sleepy’s has found the top 10 most and least sleep-deprived jobs.  This study comes in light of Daylight Saving Time which is less than one month away (Sunday, March 11th)!  As we all prepare to lose an hour of sleep in March, check out the list of the already sleep-deprived occupations:

  1. Home Health Aides
  2. Lawyers
  3. Police Officers
  4. Physicians, Paramedics
  5. Economists
  6. Social Workers
  7. Computer Programmers
  8. Financial Analysts
  9. Plant Operators
  10. Secretaries

I can see why home health aides top the list of most sleep-deprived job because many aides are working for more than one family and frequently work night shifts.  These sleep-deprived occupations can also be related to most stressful and most dangerous jobs rankings, which is no surprise why they are also sleep-deprived.  On the opposite end of this study, the most well-rested occupations were also determined.  Here’s that list:

  1. Forest, Logging Workers
  2. Hairstylists
  3. Sales Representatives
  4. Bartenders
  5. Construction Workers
  6. Athletes
  7. Landscapers
  8. Engineers
  9. Aircraft Pilots
  10. Teachers

The theme among some of the well-rested jobs is that many are jobs that require working outdoors.  Getting additional time in the sun not only boosts moods, but also helps keep the circadian rhythm in order.  No matter if you’re in the most sleep-deprived or well-rested occupations, sleep is important for not only health, but also job performance.  So on Sunday March 11th when we all lose an hour of sleep, keep these sleep tips in mind, to make sure you get your quality sleep.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Sleep in a room that is dark, quiet & cool.
  • Make sure your mattress properly supports your body.
  • Avoid caffeine after 12pm.

For more great information about sleep and health visit Sleep.com.


Contributor: Emily Barrett

Sleep Is Not a Luxury

It’s almost eight months since I started my journey as the first-ever Sleepy’s Snooze Director.  I have learned so much about sleep and mattresses; I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve learned.  It’s not all too often that you’re able to have a job that is not only professionally rewarding, but also beneficial to your health.  This job was created as a way to express the importance of sleep and how it affects your life, but I still feel like there is much more to be done to make sleep a priority in everyone’s lives.

I think that the main battle we have to overcome as sleep enthusiasts is to define sleep as a necessity, not a luxury.  Our society glorifies (and almost demands) sleep deprivation as a normal thing.  Students are frequently pulling all-nighters to get through their demanding schedules of classes, jobs and coursework (not to mention extracurricular as well).  Also, many people are forced to take on shift work to make ends meet.  Then there are the people with the mantra, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” who make it no easier to believe that sleep is crucial.

I believe there is hope for our cause though.  I’ve been seeing “Sleep” sections on some of the most visited websites, such as Yahoo, The Huffington Post and WebMD.  There is also Sleep.com which is a website entirely devoted to sleep.  This is great because now people have access to sleep information whenever they want.  It’s just a matter of getting people to realize that their sleep troubles are actually problems with real solutions.  All too often I’ll hear someone say, “Oh, I’m just a light sleeper,” and they accept the fact that they don’t sleep well.  To them I say, “Get help!”  When your TV isn’t working, you get it fixed.  When your tooth hurts, you go to the dentist.  If you’re not sleeping well, talk to your doctor!

What are your views on sleep?  Is it a necessity or is it a luxury?  What are you doing to advocate the importance of sleep in everyone’s lives?  Do you ever talk to your doctor about your sleep problems?  I want to hear from you, so make sure to leave a comment below so that we can have a great conversation about this.  It’s in my opinion that if we don’t start to openly talk about sleep and our problems with sleep, then we won’t be able to change the public perception of sleep as a luxury.


Contributor: Emily Barrett

Sleep Tip Experiment 2: No Coffee

It’s been a while since my last sleep tip experiment, which I am still working on and enjoying its benefits of sound sleep.  My latest experiment consisted of one week without any coffee.  Before I got my job as the Sleepy’s Snooze Director, I would have multiple cups of coffee throughout my day.  Once I learned how much coffee and caffeine affects your sleep if consumed in the afternoon, I cut back to just my one morning cup of coffee.  But last week I went for the extreme, no coffee at all!  How was I going to get through my day?!  What am I going to do to give me an extra push in the morning?!  I was nervous, but I knew I had to do this, for you my readers.

I feel as if this experiment would have been easier if A) my mom didn’t make coffee every morning (fresh brewed coffee is one of my favorite scents) and B) I didn’t pass four Dunkin Donuts, three 7-11’s and a Starbucks on my way to work (I can’t even count how many delis and bagel stores I pass).  I resorted to two drinks for my coffee-free week; green tea and water.  Drinking a glass of cold water is a much better choice for an afternoon energy boost than coffee or soda.  The sugar and caffeine in coffee and soda will only lead to a harder crash; water will give you the boost (and hydration) you need to tackle the 3pm slump.

The first day was fairly tough; green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee.  I had three cups of green tea on my first day just to try and add up my caffeine fix, which yes, is cheating, I suppose.  But the green tea just didn’t give me that boost I needed on my first day without coffee.  I do have to say that I was fortunate enough to not get the dreaded caffeine withdrawal headache during my experiment, which I now think is a sign that I don’t really need my daily cup of coffee.

By the middle of the week the only thing I was missing was the taste of coffee.  I was drinking more water than I normally did so my body was fully hydrated which is a great natural way to give yourself an energy boost.  I was also battling a bit of a cold and I think that because I was drinking water and green tea, my body was able to beat my cold more quickly.  Completing this sleep tip experiment has made me realize that I don’t need coffee for energy.  Not drinking coffee at all made it even easier to fall asleep at night.  I felt that I was sleeping more deeply because I didn’t have coffee at all.  This experiment really showed me how crucial quality sleep is when it comes to having enough energy to get you through your day.  Coffee and energy drinks just don’t compare to quality sleep when it comes to your energy level.

Since I have completed this sleep tip experiment of no coffee, I have returned to one cup of coffee a day, but it’s more so to enjoy the taste of it.  I love the smell of coffee brewed in the morning and I love the flavor, it’s just something I would miss.  One cup of coffee isn’t bad for you; in fact studies have recently showed that drinking multiple cups of coffee in a day may decrease a woman’s risk of developing depression.  But when it comes to sleep, coffee intake can definitely affect your quality of sleep.  So if you have a hard time falling asleep each night, you may want to try and see if you can go a week without coffee and see if it improves your sleep quality.

Have you ever given up coffee for a period of time?  Do you think you would be able to go a week without coffee?  Tell me in the comment section below!


Contributor: Emily Barrett

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