Sleep is better for wealthier people

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The better-off sleep better, while men find it easier to nod off than women, a study has found.

Researchers examining data from 14,000 UK households discovered that educated, employed individuals enjoyed a much better night’s rest than those who are unemployed.

The more people love their job and their partner, the better they sleep, with job fulfilment and marriage coming top of the list for major factors in determining a quality night’s rest.

Data showed that 14 per cent of those least satisfied with their jobs reported sleeping for less than six hours per night, compared with only eight per cent of those happy in their work.

The uneducated and out-of-work experienced the highest rate of negative sleep patterns.

Prof Sara Arber of the University of Surrey, part of the team which analysed the findings, said: “Given the links between sleep, social and economic circumstances and poor health found in this and other surveys, health promotion campaigns should be open to the possibility that the increased incidence of sleep problems among the disadvantaged in society may be one factor leading to their poorer health.”

Gender and age were also found to be conducive to sleeping soundly, with women more likely to negatively rate their sleep quality with 26 per cent reporting problems dropping off within 30 minutes, compared to 20 per cent of men. It seems that things do not improve with age for women with an increase in problems after the age of 25 but a decline for men.

By the age of 65, figures rose to 50 per cent of all men and women experiencing sleep problems.

Occupation showed a huge impact on gaining a restful night, those in routine jobs reporting worse sleep than those in professional lines of work.

The Economic and Social Research Council and the Institute of Social and Economic Research are collecting data from 40,000 UK households