Americans Are Sleeping Less Because Our Workdays Start So Early and That Needs to Change

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) talks on the phone in his office December 6, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senator DeMint announced today that he will resign from the Senate to become the president of the Heritage Foundation. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're grumpily rolling out of bed this morning because work starts too early and you didn't get enough sleep and you're irritated with life for throwing you in this constantly horrible cycle, you're not alone. In fact, even science agrees that people are sleeping less because work starts too early, making people significantly less productive in the long-term and creating other health-related side effects like bad skin and lower libido.

In the study, published in the journal Sleep, researchers analyzed over 100,000 adults work and sleep habits and found that with every hour work started later in the morning, people got 20 more minutes of sleep. They also found that people who were self-employed got around 17 percent more sleep than private-sector employees, most likely due to flexible hours. The conclusion, which should surprise no one, is that people will be happier and more productive, and businesses will retain more top talent, if the work day starts later or offers flexible scheduling. 

This isn't the only obvious work-related finding employers should focus on changing. Another notable problem with many workplaces and offices is that people are often completely sedentary for an entire day and numerous studies and accounts have shown that sitting all day is really bad for you. On top of the problems that come with waking up too early and sitting all day, American's take fewer vacation days than they're allotted because workplaces don't make vacation time conducive to work management afterwards (and a myriad other reasons). 

It's pretty clear that the traditional American work day and workplace need a major revamping that focuses more on individual health and happiness and relies less on old these detrimental old models that seem to promote productivity, but are doing exactly the opposite.

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