The Countries That Sleep Most, Work Least & Live Longest

Photo: Lauren Maccabee
We hear a lot about work/life balance but achieving it can feel tantalisingly out of reach, especially given the prohibitively high cost of renting in many major cities.
It's also difficult to determine exactly what makes a good work/life balance. Going freelance or transitioning to flexible working can seem appealing, but they're not necessarily healthy – or possible – for everyone.
If you sometimes worry that everyone else is better at cracking the work/life balance conundrum than you are, it could be reassuring to look at the results of a new study, which suggests we don't have it too badly compared to other countries. According to Sleep Junkie's Lifestyle Index , the UK comes 17th out of 141 countries for the best work-life balance in the world.
The Lifestyle Index was compiled using factors including the average number of working hours and annual leave in each country, the percentage of people getting a good night's sleep, people’s happiness in each country, and their life expectancy. 
Luxembourg comes out on top, thanks partly to a system where employers tend to reward staff with more annual leave as they get older. Workers over the age of 55 there get an average 36 days of paid leave every year.
Austria and Denmark place second and third respectively. Both countries give workers a minimum of 25 paid leave days a year – five more than the UK. Check out the top 10 below.
Photo: Sleep Junkie
The UK places 17th overall thanks to its reasonable average working hours – 36 a week – and relatively high life expectancy of 81.2 years. Though more than half of people in the UK said they get between seven and eight hours sleep a night, which is obviously good, the UK also scored poorly for sleep difficulty. This was calculated by analysing monthly search volumes for terms such as “I can’t sleep” and “how to sleep”. 
Check out the next 10 highest-scoring countries including the UK below.
Photo: Sleep Junkie
The US appears further down the index at 87th, partly because it doesn't guarantee workers any paid leave days at all, and partly because of its high sleep difficulty score.

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