5 Jobs Where You Get Paid to Sleep

feet and clock on bed

At the end of a long day, there’s nothing like getting into your jammies and winding down for bed. After meetings, assignments, taking care of the kids, going to the gym, housework, and anything else that’s been stuffed into your day, all you want to do is sleep. 

Now, imagine that you get to sleep and get paid for it, as in people pay you to sleep. Although it may seem far-fetched, this is the reality for many people out there. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Although opportunities are minimal, they are out there. This is especially true as larger companies begin to recognise the benefits of an afternoon snooze. In order to avoid productivity loss, corporations are allowing their employees to sleep during their scheduled shift. It’s been shown that a power nap is more powerful than caffeine, which basically means that sleeping makes you more productive.  

Even NASA has jumped onboard, paying participants to catch some zzz’s. Back in 2013, NASA offered up $18,000 to those who were able to laze around the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for a total of 70 days. Why? Well, researchers wanted to test the effects of microgravity in terms of the human body. Participants could chat with friends, take online courses, or even work remotely, however, they could not leave their bed.

I know what you’re thinking, where do I sign up? It may be challenging to get an opportunity such as the NASA study, but there’s no shortage of opportunities to sleep and get paid for it. When an opportunity presents itself, jump on the chance to catch up on sleep deprivation while making a little extra cash.

1. Scientific research subject

NASA may not be the place to start a career in professional sleeping, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in research studies. Hospitals and Universities are constantly looking for participants to take part in various study opportunities, including those on sleep. These studies typically focus on measuring brain waves, respiration, heart rhythm, and muscle movement.

Participants can be healthy individuals or those who suffer from sleep disorders, it depends on what the study entails. You’ll just need to be comfortable with people watching you sleep, as they track changes based on your body and brain. According to one study conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder, a 14 to 17-day sleep study paid out as much as $2,730.

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School is also looking for subjects to take part in their 32- or 37-day sleep research study. Subjects will take part in this study at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Each study has different requirements, but you can make up to $10,125 if selected. There are multiple other studies that are being offered to potential applicants, check out all the details here.

2. Bed and mattress tester

If you hate getting out of bed, there’s no need to with these jobs. There are positions out there that pay people to test anything from mattresses to duvets. For the most part, individuals test products and then blog about their experience or help companies make decisions based on the products they test.

Another classic example of this was a position filled back in 2006. Travelodge’s Director of Sleep, Wayne Munnelly, was paid to nap within the company’s 25,000 beds. Not a bad gig if you ask me. There are also positions offered for luxury bed testers. Like Roisin Madigan, who earned £1000 to sleep in designer beds every day for a month.

There’s also Ms. Unsworth from London, who is paid to test duvets. She said, ’My friends and family think I’ve got the best job in the world - and they’re probably right.’ Her degree in textile management allowed her to land this opportunity which she describes as her dream job

This goes to show you that random, yet fitting positions can be created based on what you offer. Like any company, bedding and mattress companies are always looking for unique ways to increase sales and strengthen their market presence. If you think you have something to offer this industry, reach out to see if you could be one of these lucky people.

3. Medical consultants working for the NHS

Pediatricians and Neonatologists who work 12-and-a-half-hour shifts are paid £1,800 by the NHS and are allowed to sleep through their shift. This night shift pays triple, weighing in at a hefty £144 an hour (which is around $245 in the US).

During these shifts, consultants are on-call, meaning they’re allowed to sleep through their shift as long as there are no emergencies. Considering it would take an NHS nurse more than a month to earn what these consultants make in one night, there have been some concerns.

4. Exhibitionist sleeper

Although this sounds a little controversial, it was most certainly real in 2009. The New Museum in New York was looking for women between the ages of 18-40 who were willing to be part of a Chu Yun exhibit. This job required them to take sleeping pills and sleep in the middle of the museum between the hours of 12 pm and 6 pm. Although the pay is low, it is more money than you’d get to nap at home.

5. Working for companies that offer nap-time

Big companies, such as Google, Facebook, Huffington Post, and National Wide Planning, all encourage their employees to take a mid-day snooze. They’ve even invested in energy pods which are chairs designed for power naps, costing anywhere from $8,900 to $12,900. These fancy pods offer a unique design, allowing employees to recline and block out sights and sounds from the environment around them. Some of the other bells and whistles include built-in speakers that play calming music and ’timed waking’ which allows individuals to pre-programme napping time.

These companies have recognized the power of a twenty-minute nap. Experts say that’s all it takes to be able to get back to work, but recommend nap time between the hours of 1 pm and 4 pm. Any later and individuals could interfere with their critical night’s rest.

Employees admit that when they have a quick rest, they’re able to approach the afternoon with greater force, increasing overall productivity. Although these positions involve a lot more than napping, sleep is seen as a positive part of the day and is highly encouraged.

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If you’d like to sleep and get paid for it, your best bet is to start with local Universities that are looking for study participants. If you’re really ambitious, aim to work for one of the large companies discussed above. There are opportunities out there, you just need to go hunting for them.

I realise that sleeping would be everyone’s dream career, but don’t quit you day job just yet. For now, sleeping isn’t really a lucrative career choice. Even if you’re not getting paid, ensure that you’re getting enough sleep each night. That way, you can tackle each day with enthusiasm. Who knows, your company may catch onto the benefits of midday naps. Casually slide a study or two under your bosses door. They may not invest in EnergyPods, but you may be able to crash in your car for twenty minutes. We can all dream, right?