Napping at work: Sleep Physician survey says ⅓ of workers sleep on the job weekly


Should you work an workplace job, maybe it’s occurred to you. You didn’t get sufficient sleep final evening. You’ve powered via the morning, but your to-do record stretches on. You’re transferring a bit slower, sated from lunch. Your pc display screen turns into hazy. You look out the window to see the solar beginning its afternoon descent, and your eyelids droop with it. You determine to let your self snooze only for a couple of minutes…

Often falling asleep at work is par for the course, based on a brand new survey by sleep wellness firm Sleep Physician, with 46% of respondents saying they nap through the workday a minimum of a couple of occasions a 12 months. What’s extra, 33% reported doing so weekly—9% as soon as per week, 18% a number of occasions per week, and 6% every day.

Significantly if you happen to didn’t get sufficient shut-eye the evening earlier than, taking a 20- to 25-minute nap might allow you to recharge and tackle the rest of your workday, says Sleep Physician founder and scientific psychologist Michael Breus, Ph.D. However don’t make a behavior of it.

“When you may really feel barely sleepy between one and three within the afternoon—as a result of all people does, it’s on account of a post-lunch dip in core physique temperature—you shouldn’t require a nap,” Breus tells Fortune. “Should you’re getting the sleep that you ought to be getting at evening, you shouldn’t require a nap.”

Noon snoozing is an enormous no-no for individuals with insomnia, Breus provides: “When you have issue falling asleep or staying asleep at evening, napping, all that does is make it worse.”

Practically 1,300 full-time U.S. workers accomplished the survey in March by way of Pollfish. Sleep Physician didn’t present extra particulars concerning the respondents, equivalent to their shift schedules, office environments, or socioeconomic statuses. Although the survey isn’t a scientific examine, it gives perception into the post-pandemic habits of the nation’s workforce, Breus says.

Half of in-person workers nap of their vehicles

It’s not simply distant and hybrid workers who’re catching Z’s throughout work hours. About 27% of in-person employees reported napping on the workplace on a weekly foundation, in comparison with 34% of distant and 45% of hybrid employees. In-person workers napped in these areas:

  • Automobile: 50%
  • Desk: 33%
  • Firm-designated napping place: 20%
  • Return house: 14%
  • Lavatory: 9%

Napping within the office is a luxurious, says Dr. Rafael Pelayo, a scientific professor within the Division of Sleep Drugs on the Stanford College Faculty of Drugs.

“There are a variety of well being care disparity points associated to sleep,” Pelayo tells Fortune. “You may solely nap at your job in case you have a spot to nap and it’s accepted by your employer. So lots of people don’t have a spot to nap the place they work.”

Pelayo provides, “Should you work in an meeting line and you’re taking a prepare to work, you don’t have an opportunity to nap wherever. Or, if you happen to’re in a spot the place you don’t really feel secure; any individual who’s napping is susceptible to being robbed or attacked.”

Males, youthful staffers extra prone to nap throughout workday

Greater than half of male workers, 52%, advised Sleep Physician they nap a minimum of a couple of occasions a 12 months throughout work hours, in comparison with 38% of females. It’s unclear whether or not the survey collected knowledge on non-cisgender employees.

A majority of youthful grownup workers admitted to workday napping, the next share than extra seasoned staffers:

  • 18–34: 54%
  • 35–54: 46%
  • 55+: 25%

Youthful adults are usually extra sleep-deprived as a result of they’ve much less management over their lives, Pelayo tells Fortune. They could have kids interrupting their sleep, aged mother and father to take care of, longer commutes, and extra calls for on their free time.

“When individuals grow old they usually have medical issues, medical issues interrupt our means to sleep, like arthritis, continual ache. However wholesome aged individuals sleep actually, rather well,” Pelayo says. “They get higher sleep than wholesome younger individuals. Wholesome older individuals, the explanation they ended up being wholesome outdated individuals is they’d good life.”

Middle age Asian businessman feeling sleepy during working on laptop and meeting at café office
Greater than half of male workers, 52%, advised Sleep Physician they nap a minimum of a couple of occasions a 12 months throughout work hours, in comparison with 38% of females. It’s unclear whether or not the March 2024 survey collected knowledge on non-cisgender employees.

Nattakorn Maneerat—Getty Photographs

Distant employees take longest workday naps

“Sensible naps” lasting 20–half-hour might quickly make you’re feeling extra alert and awake, says Alaina Tiani, Ph.D., a scientific psychologist on the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Issues Heart.

“This will increase the chance that your mind will keep within the lighter levels of sleep and that you’ll get up refreshed,” Tiani tells Fortune by way of electronic mail. “After we nap for much longer, we might cycle into deeper levels of sleep, which can be more durable to wake from. We additionally suggest taking the nap as far prematurely of your required bedtime as doable to minimize the influence in your nighttime sleep high quality.”

Greater than half of workday dozers preserve their naps below half-hour, based on Sleep Physician: 

  • Fewer than quarter-hour: 26%
  • 15–29 minutes: 27%
  • 30–59 minutes: 24%
  • 1 hour: 12%
  • 2 hours: 9%
  • 3+ hours: 3%

On common, 34% of distant and 31% of hybrid employees nap for longer than an hour, in comparison with 15% of in-person employees.

That napping is much less frequent within the Western world than different cultures made the survey knowledge stand out to Michael Grandner, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Well being Analysis Program on the College of Arizona Faculty of Drugs – Tuscson

“The truth that many people who find themselves working from house usually tend to make the most of alternatives to nap was very shocking,” Grandner tells Fortune by way of electronic mail. “It means that many employees would like to combine napping into their way of life if they might.”

Why are workers napping at work?

Staffers primarily cited some type of exhaustion as a motive for snoozing on the job, whereas others had been merely bored:

  • Re-energize: 62%
  • Get better from poor sleep at evening: 44%
  • Deal with lengthy working hours: 32%
  • Stress: 32%
  • Boredom: 11%
  • Keep away from work: 6%

However why are they so sleep-deprived to start with? Satirically, the flipside of napping at work is 77% of survey respondents mentioned job stressors trigger them to lose sleep nightly. About 57% reported dropping a minimum of an hour of sleep on a median evening. Most cited work-life stability as their prime job stressor: 

  • Work-life stability: 56%
  • Demanding tasks: 39%
  • Lengthy hours: 39%
  • Upcoming deadlines: 37%
  • Struggling to get to work on time: 30%
  • Points with boss: 22%
  • Interpersonal battle in office: 20%
  • Fears of being fired or laid off: 19%

Workers who lose sleep over job stress solely to crave relaxation through the workday aren’t the norm, however their predicament isn’t uncommon both, Breus tells Fortune: “They type of get their days and their nights blended up.”

Hybrid employees had been more than likely to report job stressors impacting their sleep, 88%, in comparison with 73% of in-person and 71% of distant employees. As well as, extra higher-level workers, equivalent to CEOs and senior managers, reported dropping sleep over profession stress, 84%, than lower-level workers, 71%.

Napping on the job might have well being, efficiency penalties

Dozing at your desk could seem inconsequential on a slower workday or once you assume your boss gained’t discover. However some workers have paid the worth, Sleep Physician knowledge present.

Amongst nappers, 17% miss deadlines and 16% miss conferences a minimum of as soon as a month as a result of they’re asleep on the job. About 27% of employees admit to falling asleep throughout a distant assembly up to now 12 months, and 17% have carried out the identical in particular person.

Whereas simply 20% of employees confronted penalties, some had been severe:

  • Examine in with supervisor extra typically: 62%
  • Workload modified: 56%
  • Sit down with supervisor: 49%
  • Suspended: 24%
  • Fired: 17%

“Limiting sleep to at least one main nighttime window might help to make sure that you get hold of an applicable quantity of sleep at evening and thus don’t require a daytime nap, which might intrude with work or different duties,” Tiani says.

Strategic daytime napping could be an efficient instrument to spice up power and productiveness, Grandner says, however falling asleep at work once you don’t imply to might point out an underlying well being situation. 

“For people who find themselves unable to keep up consciousness, I might suggest evaluating your nighttime sleep to see in case you have any untreated sleep issues like sleep apnea, or if there are different steps you may take to realize more healthy sleep,” Gardner says.

You must also seek the advice of your physician if you happen to’re usually not a napper however start having unexplained fatigue, Pelayo says: “An abrupt change in your want for sleep would point out a medical downside being current.”

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