Napping at work? Survey reveals how many workers sleep on the clock

The work-from-home movement has sparked conversations in recent years about work-life balance and productivity. While some have argued that workers are less productive at home, others suggest that in-person work leads to more stress.

To gain an understanding of how work impacts sleep and how common napping during the workday is, the organization Sleep Doctor surveyed 1,250 full-time workers in March on the topic.

The sleep wellness company revealed that 1 in 3 workers regularly nap during work hours and found that remote and hybrid workers were more likely to take naps during the workday than in-person workers. 

On a weekly basis, 34% of remote workers took naps compared to 45% of hybrid workers and 27% of in-person workers.


File: Remote worker naps during work day. (Credit: Getty Creative)

According to the findings, younger workers and men were more likely to nap, with 52% of men reporting that they napped at least a few times a year during the workday versus 38% of women.

The most common napping location for in-person workers was in their car (50%), followed by at their desk (33%). 

In addition, 1 in 3 survey respondents said they miss meetings and deadlines because they are napping, while 1 in 4 remote workers said they have fallen asleep during a meeting.

Of those who nap during remote meetings, 70% said they turn both their camera and sound off.

Those who work remotely were found to nap the longest among full-time employees. Of those who napped, about one-third (34%) of remote workers napped for more than an hour on average, compared to only 15% of in-person workers.

Optimal nap time

"The optimal nap time is 25 minutes or less," Dr. Michael Breus at Sleep Doctor said. "If you nap longer than 25 minutes, you start to get into stage 3 and 4 sleep, where it’s much more difficult to wake up. If you sleep less than 25 minutes, it’s much easier to wake up and feel more refreshed."

RELATED: Expert says this is how long you should nap for

Other sleep experts agree. 

If you’re going to take a nap, Alicia Roth, PhD, a sleep psychologist for Cleveland Clinic in Ohio recommended keeping it to 30 minutes or less, noting that longer naps can leave a person feeling groggy when they wake up.

But, the new findings also showed that career stressors frequently caused employees to lose nightly sleep. In fact, 77% of full-time workers said they lose sleep on an average night over job stressors. 

The survey found that the most common workplace stressors were work-life balance, long hours and demanding projects.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.