10 Dreamy Jobs Where You Get Paid to Sleep

Illustration of a woman wearing a sleeping mask and laying in bed

Sleep is a magical thing that offers so many benefits, from improved mental and physical health to sharper memory to better mood and cognitive function.

Aside from the health benefits, many of us absolutely love sleep! There’s nothing better than climbing into bed after a long day, knowing that you’ll get between seven and nine hours of delicious, uninterrupted sleep.

And while sleep is something we look forward to each night, others get paid to sleep!

So, if you love sleeping and the idea of getting paid to do it, read on to discover 10 jobs that pay you to sleep. Who knows, perhaps one of these could be the perfect career for you! 

1. Bed and mattress tester

Average salary: From $80 per hour to $39,350 per year

This is a dream job for people who love sleeping!

Bed and mattress testers are people who test beds, mattresses and bedding for companies during the development phase of new products. These individuals are paid to sleep as they test out each product.

Bed tester salaries may vary from job to job, but according to Salary.com, a bed tester’s medium annual salary can reach $39,350 in the US.

Numerous companies offer bed and mattress testing roles. For instance, a mattress company, Sonno, was looking for participants that would use their mattresses for 100 nights and report back on the quality of their sleep. UK bed brand, Olivia’s, was also in search of ‘comfort connoisseurs’ who were paid £60 ($80) per hour to test out a range of beds.

Another mattress review company, Sleep Junkie, was looking to hire a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ to test out and evaluate mattresses over two months. The successful candidate was offered $3,000 to report on their sleep quality and mood, and the comfort of each mattress.

There are plenty of opportunities in bed and mattress testing where you can earn money while you sleep!

2. Sleep research subject for clinical trials

Average Salary: From $100 to $3000 

There are plenty of hospitals, clinics, universities and research facilities worldwide offering money to participants in clinical trials that involve sleeping. For opportunities of this nature, you’re usually paid incrementally, depending on how far along you get in the process.

For instance, one study carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder paid participants $2,451 for two laboratory visits that nearly lasted four days each.

Sleep studies concentrate on a range of factors, including brain waves, respiration and heart rate, all while the person is asleep. They are intended to delve into sleep issues and discover ways to fix them. 

However, while participants usually are paid to sleep, bear in mind that roles of this nature will also likely assess an individual’s ability to function whilst sleep deprived.

Another consideration is that research subjects have to remain on-site during their stay, which could be difficult for those with family obligations. 

To find available opportunities, you could use sites such as ClinicalTrials.gov, where countless studies you can partake in are listed.

3. Sleep executive

Average salary: From $140 per day to $33,500 pro rata

Interior specialist companies regularly hire sleep executives to test out how effective their curtains, blinds and shutters are for an individual’s sleep.

Sleep executives are hired to sleep under varying conditions. For instance, light is introduced at different intensity levels to test blackout curtains and see how each variant impacts sleep quality.

You may also be required to wear a sleep monitoring device to determine how different variables affect your sleep. After the experiment, you must report back to discuss your experience with each product that was tested.

This role aims to discover what factors can disrupt sleep and find out how to improve sleep quality. And with so many people suffering from sleep issues nowadays, it’s essential to find ways to help people sleep better. 

4. Exhibitionist sleeper 

Average salary: $10 per hour

While this may sound like one of the strangest jobs out there, it’s real. In 2009, New York artist, Chu Yun, hired 100 women aged between 18 and 40 to take sleeping pills and sleep in the middle of a gallery while people walked around the exhibition. Their job was to lie in beds and fall asleep with the intention of remaining asleep for a six-hour stretch.

Sleepers were free to wear whatever they were comfortable in and worked between 12 pm and 6 pm. And while this vacancy has been and gone, other similar opportunities may arise - so keep your eyes open (if you haven’t fallen asleep by then)!

5. Environment sleep tester

Average salary: $2000 

Yes, this is a real job!

This very unusual job was created for a study by Sleep Standards, and its purpose was to determine how different environments affect sleep quality. It involved sleeping in a different environment every night for five nights – including a five-star hotel! 

Each night, several environmental factors were carefully adjusted in a controlled way. Afterwards, the individual was asked to write up a report about their sleeping experience each night, highlighting how each adjustment affected their quality of sleep.

6. Line sitter 

Average salary: $25 for the first hour and $10 for subsequent 30-minute periods

If you’re one of those people who can literally sleep anywhere, this might be the job for you. As the job description suggests, it involves waiting in line on behalf of someone else.

Certain product launches, including those for the latest iPhone, require arduous waiting time in line – often overnight. As a line sitter, your job is to stand in line in someone’s place so they can skip the long wait. 

Queuing company Same Old Line Dudes offers professional line waiting services (which have proven to be incredibly lucrative). 

From 40+ hour waits for auditions to midnight queues prior to mega sales, there are plenty of opportunities if you’re willing to wait outside in a range of weather conditions. 

7. Sleep Tester 

Average Salary: 100,000 yuan per year ($20,000)

Described as ‘the world’s most comfortable job,’ Chinese firm Nao Baijin has offered applicants 100,000 yuan per year to be professional sleepers.

Successful applicants were required to test out the company’s supplements, then simulate sleeping patterns of workers in a range of industries. Following their sleep, the testers were required to write up a report on how the supplements affected their sleep quality.

For instance, they could have been required to take the supplements and mirror the sleep patterns of a programmer (many of whom go to bed late and wake up late). After completing the report, the testers were required to provide suggestions on how to improve sleep quality. 

8. Eternal employer

Average Salary: 21,600 Swedish Krona per month ($2,520)

This government-funded conceptual art project position in Gothenburg, Sweden, was advertised as ‘the easiest job in the world.’

The successful candidate will be recruited at the Korsvägen train station. Their sole duty is to punch a clock at the train station each morning, which will turn on a bank of bright fluorescent lights over the platforms, telling commuters and travellers that the employee is on the job. At the end of the shift, the worker clocks out, and the lights go off.

Described as a ‘social experiment and a serious political statement,’ the successful candidate will be free to do whatever they like throughout their shift, meaning you could spend the duration of your shift sleeping if you wish! 

9. NASA study participant 

Average Salary: $18,500

NASA is regularly looking for participants to take part in their bedrest study. Participants are required to attend the German medical research facility in Cologne.

Successful candidates, who must be between the ages of 24 and 55, may spend up to two months lying in a bed.

All experiments, meals and leisure activities occur while participants are lying down, and beds are angled downwards by six degrees (towards the head) to direct all bodily fluids towards the upper body (as experienced by astronauts in a space shuttle). Movement is restricted to reduce any strain on muscles, tendons or the skeletal system. 

The goal of the study is to determine how artificial gravity affects the human body and establish how to prevent the negative effects of weightlessness.

10. Hotel mystery shopper

Average salary: Varies 

Getting paid to sleep in hotels is a genuine source of income for some!

With the modern hospitality sector shifting its operations, there has been an increase in quality assurance. Customer experience and satisfaction are becoming increasingly important to compete in today’s ultra-competitive market.

Many hotels have implemented a hotel mystery shopper programme designed to improve customer service, guest experience and more. 

As a mystery shopper, you will pose as a regular hotel guest and take note of the details, including the customer service, quality of the room and, of course, comfort of the beds.

Once you leave, you’ll be required to complete a report, offering an honest account of your experience while staying at the hotel. (Sounds like the ultimate way to enjoy a great night’s sleep in the comfort of a hotel!) 

While most of us can only dream of getting paid to sleep, there are, in fact, plenty of opportunities out there!

However, while the above roles certainly have their appeal, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of any new job opportunity before taking the plunge.

Which of these jobs sounds the most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments section below! 

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 10 November 2016.