Five Jobs Known To Mess With Your Sleep Routine

For most of us, the idea of hearing the alarm going off in the morning is bad enough even if you’ve got a standard nine to five job.

But spare a thought for some of these professions with long unsociable hours! Not only should these troopers be praised for getting by on so little sleep, but they also do very important jobs that make things a lot easier for the rest of us, none more so than the first on our list…


Hospital Workers

Doctors and nurses are well known for working extremely long hours, an issue which has recently made the news with the current junior doctors strike.

We should be incredibly grateful to all the NHS staff who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

After all, the hospitals can’t exactly close down and give everyone a break, and somebody needs to be there for the increasing numbers of late night revellers being admitted to A&E.

And it’s not like late night hospital staff are exactly stood around doing nothing. They do one of the toughest and most stressful jobs out there, and are subjected to some pretty brutal stuff!

Forty hour-plus weeks are commonplace in the NHS, and and shifts can vary wildly making it difficult for staff to get into any sort of sleep routine.

Feeling sympathetic? That might change with our next job…


Investment Bankers / Stockbrokers

Yep, bankers have been in everyone’s bad books for a couple of years now but might you soften slightly when you see the sleep schedule they face?

Probably not, but here is is anyway! Obviously the stock markets are a global entity, and they’re expensive business.

If you knew staying in bed that couple of extra hours could cost you thousands of pounds you’d probably be jumping out of bed too!

The daily routine of an investment banker can start at around 7am, and run as late as 11pm.

The upside of losing all this sleep? While estimates vary, investment bankers can earn some serious money, with salaries of £200k a year fairly average, and that’s before you add in those infamous bonuses!

But if you ask us, we’d take a good night’s sleep any day!


Refuse Collectors

At the less glamorous end of the scale, while we’re all still asleep and the streets are deserted, these folks are combing the streets collecting our rubbish.

Sometimes starting as early as 5am, these guys are out no matter what the weather, dealing with some pretty unpleasant stuff.

If there is one positive to the early starts, it’s that your circadian rhythm should eventually get used to it, and early starts will just become the norm.


Police / Firefighters

Crime and fire can strike at any time, and so the emergency services need to have people available and ready to go right through the night.

Just like the hospital workers, not only do these guys have to put up with irregular sleep patterns and long nights, they also have to do some of the most important jobs out there.

The problem here is that emergency services often work using rotating shifts so that certain employees don’t always get stuck with the night shift.

This means your body can’t get itself into a routine, and can really mess up your cycle.



Commercial airline pilots face a triple whammy when it comes to sleep. As well as the irregular hours and long shifts, these guys are hopping between time zones on a daily basis, and have to cope with some severe jet lag.

If you’re a nervous flyer it may be best not to click this article. It turns out that over half of pilots have slept while on the top, and even more worrying, 29% have woken up to see their co-pilot having a nap too!

There are some strict guidelines in place to try and make things a little easier, and pilots can only work a maximum of 95 hours in a two-week period.

Working a job which plays havoc with your sleep pattern forces you to sleep when you’re wide awake, work when you’re drowsy, and can cause other side effects such as insomnia, irritability and having trouble concentrating.

If you can’t avoid the late nights then it’s best to try and develop some kind of consistent routine, even if that means being asleep during the day.

For more sleep tips and news, stay tuned to our Sleepy People blog!