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Most U.S. Workers Need More of This to Be Better at Their Jobs

Nearly three-quarters of American workers might be better at their jobs if they simply hit the hay sooner.

Not getting enough sleep has become a significant problem, with 74% of full- and part-time employees in the United States getting less than 8 hours of sleep each night, according to a new survey from Glassdoor. The report found that 3 in 4 American workers averaged just 6.9 hours of sleep per night. That's below the 7-9 hours recommend by the National Sleep Foundation and National Institute for Health for people 18-64 to function at their best. 

"Sleep not only provides physical restoration to the body, but it is critical for cognitive function, concentration, and productivity," said Glassdoor Chief Human Resources Officer Carmel Galvin in a press release. "Employers can help employees get enough rest by reminding them to take time off when they need it, and before bed, to avoid screen time."

Women report sleeping less than men. Image source: Getty Images.

Are workers simply tired?

About two-thirds (66%) of the 1,077 U.S. adults surveyed by Harris Poll for Glassdoor said they would be better employees if they got more sleep. That was most true of ages 18-44, where 73% said that was true. Younger workers, ages 18-34, said they slept more (7.4 hours) than those ages 45-64 (6.5 hours) on a typical work night.

In addition, men of all ages slept slightly more than women at 7.1 hours each night compared to 6.8 hours. Also, married workers clocked in at 7.1 hours per work night while single folks only get 6.7 of shuteye.

Why are people not sleeping enough?

While it's always easy to blame the boss, employer demands are not why most American workers are not getting the sleep they need. In fact, the Glassdoor survey showed that 74% of those surveyed said that their manager encourages them to take time off for health and wellness reasons.

That's not to say employers have done everything they can to create an environment where employees can fully take care of their personal needs. Sixty-one percent of respondents said tyhey'd rather come to work feeling sick than use sick time or paid time off for an illness.

Of course, if a company offers paid sick time and an employee chooses not to use it, that's more on the worker than the employer. Ultimately the employee has to be proactive, according to Galvin.

"Employees should also take responsibility for their wellness and recognize most employers want people to take the rest they need to be at their best," she said.

Just go to bed

Not getting enough sleep may impact your job performance. It may also hurt you in other ways. Being tired while driving a car is never a good idea and many jobs become more dangerous if you are not rested.

It can, of course, be challenging to balance work, life, and sleep, but it's important to make an effort to do so. Not doing so could cause you to under-perform at work, or the consequences could be even more dire.

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