Work Intrudes on Sleep

One in four workers (26%) feel they do not get enough sleep each night, and 60% of all workers say that a lack of sleep has negatively impacted their work, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Nearly half of all workers (47%) say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

In addition, only 17% of all workers get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Half of workers (52%) log an average of five to seven hours of sleep each night, while 6% average less than five hours per night.

For some workers, hitting the snooze button in attempt to doze a little bit longer just doesn’t cut it. One in five workers (22%) have called in sick for the purpose of getting extra sleep.

“As Americans work extended hours, routinely take work home, and juggle two or more jobs on top of long commutes, sleep has become a casualty of the race for time,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “But lack of sleep undermines performance and can create a vicious cycle of working more hours to compensate for diminished productivity and having less time to sleep.”

Three in five workers (60%) say lack of sleep has had an impact on their work in some way, including:

  • It makes the day go by slower: 29%;
  • It makes me less motivated: 27%;
  • It makes me less productive: 25%;
  • It affects my memory: 19%;
  • It takes me longer to complete tasks: 13%;
  • It makes me crabby with my coworkers: 13;
  • It makes me make mistakes: 12%; and
  • It makes me resent my job: 8%.
NEXT: Crazy work dreams

A significant proportion of workers can't seem to escape work, even while they're sleeping. Sixty-five percent reported that they have dreamed about work at one time, with 13% saying it happens always or often.

When asked the craziest work dream they've had, workers said the following:

  • Tyrannosaurus Rex worked at my office;
  • I showed up to work three hours late, and I was only half dressed. That was OK though, because we have a relaxed dress code. The problem was I had not realized the Queen of England was visiting, and I felt embarrassed;
  • I work with software. While I was pregnant, I had a dream that I had to upload my unborn baby at the end of every day, or she'd lose her development for the day;
  • My coworker had a baby but wrapped it in a burrito wrapper;
  • I was naked getting ready to get on a roller coaster while trying to reconcile an account I'm working on;
  • My boss and I were mowing a lawn in the clouds on a go-kart;
  • My boss adopted me and my coworkers. He got us housing and took us shopping;
  • Famous people worked with me in place of my coworkers;
  • I drove the forklift home from work; and
  • I opened a "bank and brew" where customers, after doing their banking business, had a choice of craft beers and tapas.

The survey found nearly two in five workers (38%) would take advantage of a designated "nap room" if offered at their place of work. But 94% of workers would not take a pay cut for the ability to go in two hours later.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,616 employees ages 18 and older (employed full-time, not self-employed, including 3,411 in the private sector) between November 16 and December 6, 2016.