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The UK’s Snooziest Sectors

Which industries hit the snooze button the most? We’ve surveyed Britain’s workforce to see which professions are rolling over for an extra nine minutes (the default snooze time on an iPhone) and who is leaping out of bed ready for the day.

We’ve also tallied up these daily snooze times for each profession, revealing how much time is lost over the course of a year.

Where does your profession rank? And what could you be doing with all that snooze time…

Who’s hitting snooze the most?

The study, which surveyed over four thousand UK workers, shows that employees from the sales industry snooze their alarms significantly more than any other sectors, with 20% struggling to get out of bed after a second snooze, and a staggering 45% snoozing up to four times a day.

Those who work in creative arts and design struggle to get up too, spending the equivalent of four days in periods of ‘snooze’ each year.

These industries are worse than students, whereby only 30% are snoozing three times or more.

Regardless of getting the least amount of sleep, police officers, and those who work in law enforcement and security, show the most self-discipline - with 67% not hitting the snooze button at all.

They’re followed closely by the public service sector, whereby half of employees jump straight out of bed without needing an extra nine minutes.

Why Snoozing isn’t great

With 36% of the UK workforce snoozing their alarms up to FOUR times before they rise, it’s clear that not everyone is keen to get out of bed.

Medical studies from NCBI show that when you hit snooze and go back to sleep, you send your whole system into a confusing tailspin., known as sleep inertia.

During sleep, the brain moves through five different stages. One of these stages is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this phase, the eyes move rapidly in various directions, most dreams will occur, and it is thought to play a role in learning, memory, and mood.

People enter REM sleep within the first 90 minutes of falling asleep and, as the sleep cycle repeats throughout the night, REM sleep occurs several times each night.

When your alarm goes off in the morning, you’re usually near the end of your last REM cycle, meaning it’s the perfect time to get out of bed. However, by hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep, your REM cycle starts again.

This means when your alarm goes off a second time, it wakes you up in the middle of REM instead of at the end. As a result, you end up feeling groggy and disoriented, which is not what you want before a day at work.

But why is a snooze nine minutes long exactly?

Experts suggest it's because when the snooze feature was first introduced in the 1950s it had to work around a clock's gears, which had already been designed and put in place.

Clock engineers had to work with the gears and had limited options for the pause without it lasting for more than 10 minutes, which was too long for a quick snooze.

As a double-digit snooze would be harder to program than a single-digit one, designers decided to go with the less complicated option.

Now, digital clocks—including iPhone’s alarm app— follow suit and pay homage to the original nine minutes.

How to stop snoozing

Stephanie Romiszweski, Sleep Physiologist at the Sleepy Head Clinic gives her tips for a good night’s sleep. She said: “Making sure your bedroom environment is suitable for you is the first step to achieving the most out of sleep.

“Also, try to keep a regular wake time, and whilst having the same sleep ‘opportunity’ is important, it doesn’t mean going to bed when you are anxious or not sleepy just because the clock on the wall says so.

“Only go to bed once you are really sleepy, and spend the rest of your time finding things that make you feel good.

“That way work is less likely to impact on the quality of your sleep. Remember it’s all about quality and not quantity.”


Comfort is also key to getting a good night’s sleep. If your bed is uncomfortable and stopping you from having sweet dreams, take a look at our range of mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12531174