Sleeping on the Job

New Better Sleep Council Research Reveals 22% of Working Americans Nap During the Workday

As work environments become more flexible, learn which Americans are integrating restorative naps in their workday.
Research

In its continued effort to monitor how well America is sleeping, the Better Sleep Council conducted a survey to understand to what degree working Americans are taking restorative naps during the workday – especially given the dynamic shift in work environments due to the pandemic.

  • Overall, our assessment found that more than one in five working adults take a nap during the workday (this measure includes naps taken during and outside of work breaks).
  • Napping during the workday is driven by people working from home or in hybrid situations (i.e., Americans who work in a flexible environment that include both an office setting and a remote location), who are two times more likely to take naps during the workday than their in-office counterparts.
  • Napping is more common among younger working adults. Generation Z are 3.4 times and Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to take naps during the workday than Boomers.
  • Regardless of how long they take or where they are taken, naps are restorative! Eighty-seven percent of those who nap during the workday say naps are “refreshing.” They are particularly restorative for parents with children at home, who are 1.6 times more likely to say naps are “very” refreshing compared to working adults with no children at home.

The research consisted of an online survey, representative of working adults 18 and older within the United States. It was administered between July 23 and July 26, 2021, among a sample of 800 respondents. The sample size provides 95% confidence + 3.5%.

OVERALL FINDINGS

Over one in five (22%) working adults take naps during the workday (including during breaks).

Q2 – Which of the following have you done during the workday (including during breaks) in the past month? (Check all that apply.)

Total N=800
Used cellphone/texting for personal reasons 69%
Surfed the internet for personal reasons 59%
Went on social media for personal reasons 59%
Socialized with co-workers 54%
Watched TV 46%
Played video games on phone, computer or TV 37%
Exercised 33%
Ran errands 33%
Did household chores (e.g., cleaning, cooking) 31%
Took (a) nap(s) 22%
Went on smoke breaks 20%
Took care of/watched my children 16%
Other 2%

On average, working Americans take half-hour naps (the average is 29 minutes). But there are exceptions: nearly one in 10 nappers take at least one hour-long nap during the workday.

Q5 – Approximately how long is your typical nap? 

Total N=172
< 5 min 3%
5-9 min 6%
10-14 min 8%
15-19 min 17%
20-24 min 11%
25-29 min 12%
30-34 min 15%
35-39 min 3%
40-44 min 5%
45-49 min 4%
50-54 min 3%
55-59 min 3%
60 min or more 9%
Mean 29 min

Regardless of how long naps last, nearly all are restorative. Eighty-seven percent of those who nap during the workday find naps refreshing. Naps are most refreshing to people with children at home.

Q4 – How refreshed did you feel after napping?

Total Sample Children
(any age)
———-
No Children
———-
(F)[1] (G)
Total N=172 N=83 N=89
Very refreshed 37% 46% G 29%
Somewhat refreshed 50% 41% 58% F

Most naps taken during the workday are taken in bed (53%) or on a sofa (41%). Yet nearly one-quarter of Americans napping during the workday sleep in a chair or in their car (or truck). Sleeping at a desk, on the floor or anywhere they can are less common, but something one in 10 working Americans do.

Q3 – Where did you nap? (Check all that apply.)

Total N=172
In bed 53%
On a sofa 41%
In my chair 28%
In my car/truck 24%
At my desk 16%
On the floor 12%
Anywhere I could 10%
In the bathroom 5%
Other 1%

WHO IS more likely to take a nap during the workday?

Q2 – Which of the following have you done during the workday (including during breaks) in the past month? (Check all that apply.)

Not surprisingly, people working from home or in hybrid situations are twice as likely to nap during the workday than those working in an office setting. (Respectively, 2.4 times among people working at home and 2.2 times among people working hybrid.)

At home
only
———-
In an
office
only
———-
In a non-
office
facility
———-
Hybrid
———-
Outdoors
———-
Other
———-
(F) (G) (H) (I) (J) (K)
Total N=113 N=285 N=243 N=104 N=50 N=5
Took (a) nap(s) 31% G 13% 23% G 29% G 22% 20%

Younger generations are more likely to take a nap during the workday than older cohorts. Gen Z and Millennials are respectively 3.4 times and 2.5 times more likely to take naps during the workday than Boomers.

Gen Z
———-
Millennials
———–
Gen X
———-
Boomers
———-
(H) (I) (J) (K)
Total N=51 N=340 N=294 N=115
Took (a) nap(s) 37% JK 27% JK 16% 11%

Workers with lower income are also more likely to nap during the workday. Workers with a yearly household income under $50,000 are 1.6 times more likely to nap during this time than those earning $100,000 or more.

Under
$50,000
———-
$50,000-$99,999
———-
$100,000+
———-
(L) (M) (N)
Total N=273 N=269 N=258
Took (a) nap(s) 26% N 22% 16%

 

Survey Details: Better Sleep Council August 2021

 

[1] An alphabetical code letter has been assigned to groups (e.g., A, B, C, etc.) throughout this report. If a percentage within one group is significantly greater than a corresponding percentage in a second group, then the code letter from the second group appears next to the percentage in the first group.

 

 

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