SURVEY SAYS: Interaction Between Sleep and Work

We covered a survey that found many employees say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Has a lack of sleep affected your work or has work affected your sleep?”

The majority (86.7%) of responding readers indicated thinking about work has caused them to lose sleep, while 13.3% said it has not. Only 21.3% of responding readers have called in sick to work to catch up on sleep, and 78.7% have not.

Asked in what way lack of sleep has affected their work, 70.7% of respondents said it makes them less productive, and 51.7% reported it takes them longer to complete tasks.

Respondents also said:

  • It makes the day go by slower – 36.2%;
  • It makes me less motivated – 31%;
  • It affects my memory – 34.5%;
  • It makes me crabby with my coworkers – 24.1%;
  • It makes me make mistakes – 31%; and
  • It makes me resent my job – 15.5%.

Nearly all respondents (91.8%) reported they have had a dream about work, while 8.2% have not.

In comments left by responding readers, some offered other reasons for losing sleep besides work. A few shared their work dreams and some said dreams about work revealed answers to problems. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “In my fairy tale life, I leave the office at 5:00pm, don’t bring any work home, get to bed by 10:00pm, sleep like a log and arrive fresh at work at 8:00am the next day, well rested and ready to go!” 

Thank you to all who responded to the survey!


In my fairy tale life, I leave the office at 5:00pm, don't bring any work home, get to bed by 10:00pm, sleep like a log and arrive fresh at work at 8:00am the next day, well rested and ready to go!

The last time I even slept through the night was when I was recuperating from the flu over a year ago (and yes, I had the flu shot). I wake up at least twice every night in the middle of a thought. Writing it down works if you can remember to bring it with you, lol!

Job insecurity!!

Not getting enough sleep causes me to have trouble functioning at work resulting in mistakes. Mistakes then cause me to not be able to sleep at night. Thus the vicious cycle begins.

I don't lose sleep because of work. I lose sleep because I'm binge-watching things like Stranger Things, Parks and Recreation, or The Walking Dead.

Best book ever written on subject: Off Balance by Matthew Kelly.

It is like a merry go round once you get on and it starts spinning too fast it is hard to jump off without feeling like you are not doing enough for your clients or that you might miss something important.

I travel a lot for work. My "favorite" dream about work is when I dream I am traveling, only to wake up at 4 a.m. because I need to get up and catch a flight.

If only I could work from home, I'd get three hours of my life back every single day (between commute/lunch... that could go a long way in letting me get more sleep!!

I generally consider it your body telling you it is time to make a change (employers, position, mindset) if work is keeping you up at night.

Regarding the first question - it is yes, but that isn't the case anymore. The older I get and the closer I get to retirement, work is the last thing on my mind when I go to bed other than the fact that I have to set the alarm to get up.

it's a vicious circle. Worries of work leads to sleeplessness which leads to more problems at work.

ACA compliance has caused me to wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night more than once. I keep thinking it was all a bad dream. Was it?

I resent my coworkers who do not have enough work - you know the ones who always have time for March Madness, Chilli Cook Offs, Trivia contests, surfing the net on their phones. They are also sometimes the ones that everyone likes to hang around becaue they are "fun", meanwhile those of us who are dedicated to our clients are busy working day and night.

I have two jobs and once showed up at the wrong one at the right time.

No Family work balance as always working. Give up vacation

Verbatim (cont.)

Daylight Savings Time is killing me. I feel fine when I get up, but by mid-morning I sometimes nod off. Drink lots of coffee.

It seems like I only wake up early (before an alarm) on a work day.

My job is so highly regulated, I sleep like a baby. Every couple of hours I wake up wet and crying.

I have no problem sleeping, never have. I tease and say "I sleep like a teenager" rather than sleeping like a baby (who wakes up every 2 hours!) Ha!

I have lots of recurring dreams about work. Most of the time they are about previous jobs I had and not my current job. One of the main themes is that I can't find my desk because it's been moved. Another theme is that I've left a previous job but then come back unbeknownst to anyone.

Work does not affect my sleep too often, but sometimes it affects my husband's sleep, when he wakes up to me talking about it in my sleep!

The expectation to never call sick, unless really, really sick, is what creates my worst days when I don't get enough sleep. When my eyes are really tired it's difficult focus, both on the computer screens and on the work.

I have to admit, I have come up with some creative solutions to work problems in my dreams. Don't know if that is good or bad....

Mind cannot shut off thinking about all that needs to get done. Constantly working or worrying about work. Job security is larger motivator...

I regularly sleep better on Friday and Saturday nights - it's not a good sign 🙂

I remember that old adage about going to sleep with a problem and waking up with a solution. Has never worked for me. Thank goodness a shower follows those sleepless nights - now THERE I have found solutions!

I hate it when I wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep because I am going over the steps to solve a problem or get a big project completed on time. I sleep much better when I work out every day. It reduces the stress and I am too tired to think about work

having a global benefits job, all the different time zones keep me up at all hours sometimes. It's bad when you can't remember what country you are talking to!

daylight savings time has me dozing off for about 2 weeks. I am also crabby. They should get rid of daylight savings time as it cuts productivity every year.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.