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All Work And No Sleep

All Work And No Sleep

Every week, the Null dissects the most pointless papers not to hit the headlines. It's harsh, but funny. This week, Hayley Birch on the work-sleep balance.

All those extra hours spent slaving over a hot computer are cutting into your catnaps. Would you believe it?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania called 50,000 people for a fifteen minute chat about their work-sleep balance. Each volunteer was asked probing questions about how they had spent the last 24 hours.

It turns out that, compared to the rest of us slackers, someone who puts in an extra hour and a half in the office is likely to get less shut eye.

But 50,000 volunteers? It sounds like these scientists have been doing more than their fair share of overtime themselves. By our calculations, that's well over a year's worth of constant, 24-hour-a-day research, just to tell us something we were already well aware of. Take a break, guys.

But there's no suggestion that the researchers are tiring of their pursuit of pointless statistics. Mathias Basner and his team are already lining up a study into how snoozing time is cut short by early morning starts to beat the traffic.

More studies of the bleedin' obvious:

- You don't say - Adults baby-talk to babies
- Shiver me timbers - Teens likely to be a bit lazy
- Well blow me down - Wearing clothes can prevent sunburn
- Hold the press and gird your loins - The longer you spend in ambulances, the more likely you are to die

This article originally appeared in our regular column on the Daily Telegraph website.
Image: Carl Dwyer

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07 Jul 2011
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