20 Careers That Afford You The Most And Least Sleep

March 22, 2017  |  
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Everybody has different priorities when looking for a job. Some people want a very high pay grade or at least the potential to earn more money over time; some individuals want a fun and social work environment. Fame and visibility are certainly a driving force behind many professionals, while isolation and the option not to see anyone for days on end is an attractive career trait for others. And then there are people who just want to sleep! Which makes sense, since sleep deprivation can alter the chemistry of your brain and make it difficult to feel happy. What good is a fun, social working environment if you’re grumpy and don’t want to talk to people, right? If for you, the best perk of a job is some good slumber time, then you should know about the jobs that get the most and the least sleep.

Exhausted: Private nurses

Private nurses, like those who aid the disabled and elderly, get very little sleep because their patients don’t tend to sleep much, either. Home nurses need to be up any time their patient gets up to simply use the restroom.


Well-rested: Bartenders

If you’re a night owl who often cannot fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning, and are stressed by the concept of going to bed by 10 pm and waking up at 7 am, then you may like the bartender’s life. Bartenders rarely set alarm clocks, since their clock-in time is in the late afternoon if not evening.

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Exhausted: Cooks and restaurant owners/managers

Even if a restaurant owner or head chef has staff he trusts to take over for him, he can never truly leave his restaurant alone for more than five or six hours since there is always an emergency only he can address.

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Well-rested: Religious workers

Perhaps the knowledge that they’re doing good in this work, whether that’s through organizing fundraisers or bringing food to the poor, helps religious workers sleep soundly at night.


Exhausted: Secretaries

Secretaries usually need to get to work before everyone else in the office and leave work after everyone else in the office. It’s their job to organize important details for anywhere from a few to dozens of individuals, and if they lose one post-it note or miss one call, they could cost the company money.

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Well-rested: Engineers

The enormous amounts of money some engineers can make probably helps them sleep well at night. Since most engineering jobs pay high per-hour, that also means that engineers can work fewer hours to make a great living.

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Exhausted: Financial analysts

The fate of a company can rest in the hands of a financial analyst, a fact that does not escape the attention of these over-worked professionals. Since financial analysts are often salaried or on retention, they don’t get to clock out a certain time; they’re paid when the job is done.

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Well-rested: Writers

Writers can often work from home, meaning they don’t need to wake up early for a long commute. Furthermore, since writers are typically paid per-project (whether that’s a book or an article), they don’t feel the stress of clocking in nine hours a day.


Exhausted: TV political analysts

Political analysts who debate on the evening news have a rather tumultuous job; when they aren’t being yelled at by their debate partner, they’re up late studying materials to prepare for the next day’s discussion.

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Well-rested: Landscapers

Landscapers rarely have a boss looking over their shoulder the way an office worker does, which can relieve some of the stress that keeps one up at night. Furthermore, this profession gets to spend time outdoors, which has calming effects on the brain.

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Exhausted: Social workers

Social workers usually have one personality trait that can keep a person up at night; they are extremely empathetic. It’s difficult to sleep after witnessing the hardship of others throughout the day.

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Well-rested: Hairdressers

Hairdressers tend to set their own hours and don’t have to take a 7 am appointment if they don’t want to. So long as they pay their salon their fair cut, their schedule can really be up to them.


Exhausted: Paramedics

Paramedics typically have irregular schedules, sometimes working 36 hours straight before having one day off, and an odd wake-up time for their next day on. It’s difficult to sleep well when your sleep schedule is constantly changing. Plus, paramedics see things in their work that can certainly keep someone up at night.

Well-rested: Teachers

Maybe the knowledge that they’re doing something good in this world helps teachers rest easy at night. Maybe the fact that their day can end roughly around 3 or 4 pm just like their student’s helps too.

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Exhausted: Police officers

Police officers, like teachers, know they’re serving their community. But police officers, like paramedics, have odd, long and fluctuating work hours, and put their lives at risk each day, after which it can be hard to relax.


Well-rested: Sales representatives

The good thing about being in sales is that your potential clients and customers typically want to keep normal sleep hours, and don’t want you to bother them before 9 am or after 5 pm.


Exhausted: Lawyers

Lawyers, like financial analysts, are typically on retainer and are not done working until their case is closed. They also can affect major outcomes in a person’s life, like whether or not they get custody of their children or go to prison.

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Well-rested: Contract workers

This may take some by surprise, but those who work in construction and physical labor sleep well. Physical activity is the cure for many insomniacs.

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Exhausted: Managers of retirement communities

People who oversee retirement communities are almost never off of the clock. Their particular client base can have medical emergencies at any given moment, and their staff (aka the nurses) are on the clock 24 hours a day meaning they, too, must be.


Well-rested: College professors

College professors are, for the most part, their own bosses. The head of the school may give some critique to the curricula they have prepared, but all in all, they are the experts in their field and take comfort in that.

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