It’s the sound you dread hearing every morning... the alarm clock telling you it's time to get your butt out of bed and head off to work.
If you, like many of us, love your sleep and need 18 cups of coffee just to keep you awake during an eight hour shift, you may want to steer clear of some of the most sleep deprived jobs out there.
We bring you our top 5...
Not only do these workers rarely see their bed but they’ve also got some of the most stressful and high pressure tasks to complete, so there’s no time for yawning on the job!
1. Hospital staff
Quite possibly the best-known job for long hours, it’s no wonder this career is also incredibly respected. From the speedy paramedics who are first on scene to take the ill - and the drunk(!) - to hospital, to the doctors and nurses who treat them once they get there, front-line NHS staff work incredibly hard so the rest of us can be helped 24 hours a day. Every day.
Alongside stressful tasks like drawing blood for the umpteenth time or trying not to faint at the latest horrific injury to come into A&E, the hours and shift patterns are anything but consistent. Working over 40 hours a week, often in 12 hour slots, shifts are often worked at unsocial times (how many hospital staff do you see down the pub on a Friday night?). Just thinking about it makes you want to have a lie in!
Think we’re exaggerating? It was recently revealed that many junior doctors were working over the allowed 48 hour weeks. No wonder they look so knackered!
Think you could hack it? Check out our guides to careers in nursing and medical secretary jobs.
2. Investment bankers and stockbrokers
Given the bailouts and bonuses, it may be hard to feel sorry for anyone in the banking sector right now, but the financial markets never sleep and neither do investment bankers.
The stock market doesn’t agree to start at a sensible time of day, so most bankers and stockbrokers would have made or lost thousands of pounds before the rest of us have even eaten our cereal. Clocking in before 7am and making calls across the globe both day and night, some investment bankers work 70 hours a week+… not that you’ll hear them complaining as the salary more than makes up for it.
Want to earn the big bucks, too? Check out our career guides to investment bankers and stockbrokers.
While they may not work the long shifts of doctors or bankers, binmen and women arrive before you’re awake. This is a job that involves getting up incredibly early to avoid disruption on the roads and staying up until the job is done.
As well as waking up earlier than the sun, they’ve also got to lug heavy (and often leaking) bin bags into the lorry, street after street, in all weathers. So next time you’re filling the bin liner right to the top so you don’t have to empty it, spare a thought for the people that have to collect it at 5am…
4. Emergency services
It’s not just front-line NHS staff who rarely see their beds; police officers and fire-fighters also have to work long and unsocial hours, as apparently fire and crime don’t stop just because the working day is over.
Think YOUR job is tiring? Spare a thought for these guys; not only do they have a messed-up body clock, but they’re also expected to save lives… no pressure, then. Working over 40 hours a week in mixed-up shift patterns means this will never be a 9-5 job as someone always having to be on call.
Could YOU do it? Find out more about a career as a fire fighter or a police officer
Anyone who watches cookery shows will no doubt get the impression that chefs turn up, cook for half an hour, shout at people that can’t cook, serve the food and then go home. Sorry to break your Gordon Ramsey shaped bubble, but the reality is this is one job where the staff are most definitely sleep deprived, especially at the entry level positions.
Expected to survive on little sleep and an even smaller wage, and commis chefs suffer sleep deprivation more than most. They turn up to the kitchen first and leave after everyone has gone home - it’s not a job for those that want an easy ride. And as chefs work their way up the kitchen ranks, the heat increases, with food prep, creating menus and cooking until the last customer is served all clocking up the hours spent at work.
Basically if you can’t handle sleep deprivation, get out the kitchen.
Want to get an insider perspective? You’re in luck! We have an interview with an actual commis chef