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Most sleep-deprived workers in U.S. are in protective services

It's no secret that workers in New Jersey and around the country are getting less and less sleep at night. There are several factors in this, such as the rising use of technologies that keep people up late into the night and the greater incidence of harassment at the workplace. Work-related stress, coupled with job insecurity in some cases, is another reason.

A new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Community Health has found out what professions in particular experience the most sleep deprivation. At the top were military workers and those in protective services, including firefighters, police officers and correctional officers. Some 50% of these reported short sleep duration (i.e. less than seven hours of sleep) in 2018.

This was followed by health care support workers (45%), including home health aides and nursing assistants; those in the transportation and material moving industries (41%), such as truckers, railroad workers and air traffic controllers; and those in production, such as quality control inspectors and food processing workers (also 41%). Many of these industries, it is clear, have a direct link to the health and safety of the wider world.

There are ways that workers can combat the effects of sleep deprivation. For example, they can reduce technology use, eat well, exercise more and find creative ways to manage stress.

Sleep deprivation can, after all, reduce concentration, which can be dangerous when workers are behind the wheel or on an assembly line. Most of those who are injured on the job are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. They might want to have the help of an attorney when preparing and submitting the required claim documentation.

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