Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Better night's sleep can be due to income and education

A study from Canada shows a link between sleep quality, higher income, and higher education levels.

How do Canada's wealthy sleep at night? Better than most, it seems.

A new national survey finds 76 per cent of households whose incomes top $100,000 get six to eight hours of shut-eye every night - the highest proportion of any income group - while Canadians in one of the lowest-earning groups ($15,000 to $24,999) are likeliest to average fewer than six hours.

Statistics Canada's latest National Household Survey results pegged the median family income in 2010 at $76,000, while the median individual income was $29,878. Education also appears to buy more time in bed, with higher levels of schooling almost universally correlating with more hours of rest. When comparing Canadians with high school, college/technical, and university educations, the latter of the three groups was least likely to get fewer than six hours of sleep a night, and most likely to report enjoying six to eight hours, or more than eight hours.

Sophie Lamarche, an executive coach, said the results reflect the fact that higher-educated, higherearning workers tend to have more vacation days and benefits - which are linked to wellness - as well as the ability to delegate as necessary in order to maintain balance.

"It's a myth that the more you work, the more you're productive," said Lamarche, president of BarSo Group International in Montreal. But she also noted the importance of individuals finding their own rhythms.

"Just because the standard we all hear is eight hours, doesn't mean that's what will work for you; maybe it's nine, maybe it's seven."

Respondents in Manitoba/Saskatchewan and B.C. were likeliest to report six to eight hours a night (74 and 73 per cent, respectively), while the provinces that returned the highest reports of "good" or "excellent" sleep were actually Quebec (67 per cent) and Ontario (62 per cent).

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