Earlier this week I woke up in a cold sweat at 2:30 in the morning. I was dreaming that I was late for work.
Luckily, The Penny Hoarder offices are pretty laid back, so it’s not the end of the world if someone oversleeps or runs a little late. Still, the idea of running behind schedule gives me nightmares.
It turns out, I’m not alone.
Mattress company Amerisleep surveyed 2,000 sleepyheads and discovered a whole lot of us struggle with nightmares about work.
Bad dreams happen to everyone — but work stress can ratchet up their frequency pretty quickly.
What’s Your Worst Nightmare?
Over half the people surveyed said their nightmares usually center around dangers to their well-being.
And while only 17% of people said work-related fears fuel their nightmares, that’s 17% too many, right?
I’m sure we can all relate to these top six work-related night terrors:
- Being late for work
- Missing a deadline (I worry about this in broad daylight)
- Coming into work unprepared
- Being naked at work
- Being publicly humiliated in front of co-workers
- Getting fired
Being late for work is a common nightmare spanning at least 14 different industries in the survey, from hospitality workers to Realtors and teachers.
Telecommunications workers worry more than the rest of us about getting fired, while creative types (think: writers and entertainers) have bad dreams about being caught in the buff at work.
Stress Less for Better Dreams
Nightmares are a drag, but they’re actually useful for coping with our daily stresses. If bad dreams about work are keeping you up at night, it might be time to think about changing jobs — especially if you work in one of these extremely stressful professions.
Everybody has their own idea of what makes for a stress-free (or at least reduced-stress) work environment.
For some, it’s all about perks like unlimited sick days or free snacks in the break room. Others want the ability to work from home.
If you’re not entirely sure what kind of career and work environment you’re cut out for, take a couple of surveys and self-assessments to figure it out.
Your turn: What’s your most frequent nightmare about work?
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her most frequent nightmares revolve around running out of mint chocolate chip ice cream and sparkling lemon water.