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Third of legal professionals admit to frequent dreams of imposter syndrome

  • Workers in the legal sector most likely of all professions to dream about feeling underqualified in their role
  • Excessive workload and negative colleague relationships also among most common work-related dreams
  • 30% of legal workers say their work dreams cause anxiety

New research has discovered that a third of legal professionals admit to having frequent or very frequent dreams of imposter syndrome, more than workers in any other UK sector.

The study by bespoke furniture specialist Neville Johnson, polled 2,205 UK professionals about their work dreams and discovered that around eight in 10 (78%) have dreamt about work in the past, with around half saying that this is at least a monthly occurrence.

The data also suggested that imposter syndrome is more common amongst higher wage brackets, suggesting that people who earn more are more susceptible to feeling this way. However, the study also showed that imposter syndrome dreams peak at both Graduate and Director level, meaning it can strike someone no matter their level in an organisation.

According to the research, the most common work-related dreams in the legal sector are as follows:

Dream type Percentage of workers who frequently dream of this issue
1.       Excessive workload 44%
2.       Negative or inappropriate colleague relationships 39%
3.       Feeling underqualified for the role 32%
4.       Being unprepared for a task 30%
5.       Being in a different job 26%

Around one in three legal pros also said that their work dreams cause anxiety, with the data suggesting that workers who experience stressful dreams carry the burden with them the following day.

A huge 38% admitted they are less productive at work; a further 31% said that they carry the stress into the working day, and 30% stated they feel less confident in the workplace after having a work-related nightmare. A quarter of people said that they find it harder to switch on at work following a night disturbed by work dreams.

Neville Johnson’s sleep expert shared 7 top tips for a better night’s sleep:

  • Stick to a schedule. Having a consistent time to sleep and wake up will help ensure you get a consistent amount of sleep. Try to set aside a period of no more than eight hours to be in bed.
  • Aim to eat your evening meal at least two hours before bed. Try not to go to bed hungry or too full.
  • Keep your sleeping area de-cluttered. A simple, calm, dark space is always the best spot for sleep.
  • Try to stay out of bed when you are not sleeping – this will help your mind to associate your bedroom with sleep rather than work-related activities.
  • Try to cut down caffeine, tobacco – which are both stimulants – and alcohol, which reduces our ability to drop into a deep sleep.
  • Include some form of exercise or physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Limit electronics before you get into bed to lessen your exposure to blue light. This suppresses melatonin, the “drowsy” hormone. Switching off your screen an hour is usually preferable.

To see all of the research, including the UK cities that dream the most about work, the analysis of certain dreams, more sleep tips from the expert and more results, head to the study here: https://www.nevillejohnson.co.uk/dreams-by-profession-how-does-your-job-impact-your-sleep/

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