Tired at Work? This Company Pays Employees $500 to Get a Good Night’s Sleep


This just in: Sleep is awesome.

You probably already know that, though. There’s nothing like opening your eyes after a long, restful night’s sleep, especially if a stressful job (or two), kids and other commitments keep you from getting your recommended seven to nine hours.

But what if you actually got paid to get the sleep your body so desperately craves?

No, I’m not talking about intense, lengthy sleep studies (although those are always an option).

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is paying his workers up to $500 if they can prove they’re getting their rest.

Why Some Workers Get Paid to Sleep

In a work culture sometimes described as a “rat race,” the idea of paying employees to rest might seem counterintuitive.

Especially as our constant connectivity increases telepressure and erases the distinction between work life and home life, it’s easy to spread ourselves too thin in the pursuit of success — even to the detriment of our personal health.

But forward-thinking businesses, startups and entrepreneurs are starting to change all that, pointing to the increased productivity achieved by healthy, happy, well-rested workers.

Bertolini claims his efforts to invest in worker wellness have increased employee productivity by 69 minutes a month (though we’re not exactly sure how you quantify that so exactly, even if you are Duke University researchers).

His sleep compensation plan requires workers to prove they’ve achieved 20 nights per month of at least seven consecutive hours of sleep, which they track with their Fitbits. They’re paid $25 per successful night’s sleep… up to $500 per year.

Need More Sleep?

If you’re stuck working crazy retail hours or commuting to a 40-or-more-hours-per-week position, getting enough sleep might seem impossible.

Especially on top of keeping social and familial commitments, staying active, and still — gasp — making time to have some fun every once in a while.

But finding flexible work can help make restfulness a reality in your life.

Although you won’t get paid to sleep per se, you’ll be more able to organize your life in a way that helps you make time to catch some z’s.

Here are some options:

  • Come work with us here at The Penny Hoarder, where we offer flexible hours, weekly remote work time and unlimited sick days. (It’s awesome in a whole host of other ways, too!)

If none of these work for you, you may still be in luck if you can stick it out for a bit.

As data rolls in proving napping on the job increases productivity, some people predict we might see dedicated in-office sleep space as often as we see conference rooms.

Fingers crossed!

Your Turn: What do you think about these workers being paid to sleep? Would you nap at work if you were allowed?

Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes creative nonfiction and poetry, some of which has been featured in DMQ Review, Sweet: A Literary Confection and elsewhere. You can follow along at www.jamiecattanach.com.