Half of Full-Time Workers Say They Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep


Written by David Rubin

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In our previous study, Sleep Doctor found that the majority of workers are losing sleep over job stressors, such as work-life balance, long hours, and demanding projects. 

To understand more about the intersection between sleep and work, Sleep Doctor surveyed 1,250 full-time workers in May.

Notable findings:

  • 49% of full-time workers are not getting enough sleep, averaging 6.5 hours per night
  • Women more likely to report they do not get enough sleep
  • Main reasons workers don’t get enough sleep are family duties, work stress, and household chores
  • 37% say they get poor quality sleep; women and older workers least likely to report good sleep quality
  • Remote workers don’t get more sleep than in-person workers – despite sleeping in later

1 in 2 Workers Say They Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Nearly half (49%) of workers report they do not get enough sleep on work nights. Women are more likely than men (55% vs. 45% respectively) to say they do not get enough sleep. 

On average, workers sleep 6.5 hours per night. Among them, 5% sleep for 9 hours or more, 20% achieve 8 hours, 29% get 7 hours, 27% manage 6 hours, 12% attain 5 hours, and 6% get just 4 hours of sleep or less.

Despite being more likely to report that they get enough sleep, men indicate they get, on average, fewer hours of sleep than women (6.5 hours vs. 6.7 hours of sleep respectively).
“Most adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. The optimal sleep quantity is determined by how rested one feels upon waking and the ability to wake easily without an alarm,” says Dr. Nilong Vyas, Pediatrician, Public Health Specialist, and Board-Certified Sleep Expert.

We found higher-income workers are less satisfied with their nightly sleep. Fifty seven percent of workers with incomes over $100,000 say that they do not get enough sleep, compared to the 48% with incomes under $100,000. Among workers making under $25,000, only 44% report that they are not satisfied with the amount of sleep they get. 

“It can be speculated that higher-income workers have more after-hours expectations of them, which preclude them from getting to bed at an appropriate time to allow for maximal and optimal sleep,” explains Dr. Vyas.

Top reasons include family duties, work stress, and chores

Overall, the main reason that workers do not get enough sleep is family duties (57%) followed by work stress (53%) and household chores (42%). 

Women report that family duties (62%) and household chores (42%) impact their sleep more often than men. Work stress is a top reason for not getting enough sleep for both men (52%) and women (54%).

Among workers earning over $100,000, family duties (57%), work stress (50%), and household chores (46%) are the primary factors contributing to insufficient sleep. Similarly, those earning under $100,000 cite family duties (57%), work stress (54%), and household chores (40%) as disruptive to their sleep. 

Individuals earning between $75,000 and $99,999 report the highest incidence of work stress, with 61% indicating its impact on their sleep.

“Boundaries must be set in the workplace, no matter the income obtained at that job, to protect the quantity and quality of nightly sleep. Once that sleep is lost, it is not easy to catch up,” says Dr. Vyas.

4 in 10 Have Poor Sleep Quality, Women Less Likely to Report Good Quality Sleep

Of workers surveyed, 37% say they aren’t satisfied with their quality of sleep, while 45% are satisfied, and 18% feel neutral. A smaller portion of men (31%) express dissatisfaction with their sleep, contrasting with 43% of women who report the same.

“Sleep dynamics change as we age,” says Dr. Vyas. “Older workers are feeling that shift in hormonal fluctuations, which impact sleep length and quality. It is important to keep good sleep habits and hygiene at the forefront of sleep routines to help mitigate age-related sleep ramifications.”

“Women often shoulder a significant portion of child-rearing, schedule organization, and house management responsibilities, especially working mothers who tend to handle these tasks after their children have gone to bed. Additionally, if there are multiple wake-ups overnight, mothers often respond to them, which can affect their overall sleep quality and leave them feeling dissatisfied and unrested in the morning.”

Mattress quality is the top reason workers are satisfied with sleep

Mattress quality (68%) is the biggest reason workers report being satisfied with their sleep, followed by exercise (42%), and not having too much work-related stress (37%).

Remote Workers Sleep Later than In-Person Employees

Overall, remote workers are not getting more sleep than in-person workers. On average, remote workers get 6.7 hours of sleep per night, fully in-person workers get 6.5 hours, and hybrid workers get 6.7 hours. 

“It is easy to assume that remote workers would get significantly more sleep since they do not have to account for commuting time,” explains Dr. Vyas. “That said, distractions at home may be preventing remote workers from logging in more hours of sleep per night.”

However, we found that remote workers wake up later than in person employees. Only 14% of remote workers get up before 6am on remote work days, versus 34% of in-person workers.


This survey was commissioned by Sleep Doctor and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on May 9, 2024. Overall 1,250 full-time US workers completed the full survey.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing

David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper

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