Americans prioritize work over sleep

Maybe it’s not only high school students who need later start times.

A recent study found that more than a third of American adults reported getting less than seven hours of sleep during weekdays, according to The Washington Post. The culprit? Work.

Researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics examined 125,000 responses to the American Time Use Survey to calculate how much sleep Americans are getting and what they’re doing instead of sleeping.

Short-sleepers—those getting less than six hours on weeknights—worked 1.5 hours more on weekdays and nearly two hours more on weekends and holidays, the Post reports.

Other activities that compete with sleep include commuting, socializing and personal grooming. Watching television came in ninth on the list.

Researchers found that those who were self-employed were less likely to be short-sleepers, the article notes. As a result, the researchers advocate greater flexibility in work schedules, especially in work start times. More sleep would lead to more productivity and fewer mistakes, they say.