Exhausted millennial man sleeping on his office desk, next to laptop and documents, tired of overworking

A man sleeping on the job (© Prostock-studio - stock.adobe.com)

NEW YORK — More than a quarter (26%) of people can’t get through the work week without a nap during work hours. A poll of 2,000 U.S. adults finds that peak nap time for tired Americans strikes at 9:39 a.m. — barely after starting the day! In fact, as many as 65 percent say the urge to nap strikes before 12 p.m. — and most commonly on a Wednesday.

For 39 percent, it takes three to four hours into a workday before they want to nap. A quarter of employees (26 percent) even admit to bringing a pillow to their workplace.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Nature’s Bounty, results also show that pregame naps are essential to people’s social lives, according to 46 percent of respondents. That may be because some events are simply more tiring than others. The top three that wear people out the most? Sports games (19%), street fairs (19%), and festivals (18%).

And over a third (34%) admitted they’ve fallen asleep at an event due to inadequate sleep the night before. However, 62 percent are likely to miss an important occasion such as a wedding or job interview because they were napping or sleeping.

The most common events people have missed were found to include a sports game (30%), meeting with friends (28%), a birthday party (28%), and a family dinner (28%). And if that weren’t FOMO-inducing enough, 43 percent also admit to dozing off in the middle of these events.

Overall, the average nap lasts nearly an hour, with the typical snooze going for 51 whole minutes.

Oh, the places we nap!

People have also taken a nap at some unusual places, including a movie theater (24%), a cafe or restaurant (24%), a doctor’s office (23%), and even a museum or art gallery (22%). On average, people are woken up from their nap twice a week — usually by a partner/spouse (36%) or co-worker (35%).

“Napping may not be for all, but short daytime naps can bring benefits for people with night schedules, new parents, those who are sick, and for those who just want to relax,” says brand marketing at Nature’s Bounty Jaclyn Alberts, in a statement. “However, people shouldn’t always feel the need to nap to have a productive workday or enjoy a night out. Aside from certain circumstances, naps are not a replacement for achieving quality sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential to feel energized for whatever is on your schedule.”

Sometimes, naps may not result in people feeling refreshed. Almost half (45 percent) of those polled report frequently waking up after a nap feeling worse than they were before. That may be because the average person in this poll was found to get insufficient sleep three days a week (defined as experiencing challenges falling asleep and staying asleep).

Uncomfortable room temperatures (34%), anticipatory anxiety (33%), and scrolling through social media before bed (30%) were revealed to be the main culprits of bad sleep.

“If you aren’t getting quality sleep, talk to your healthcare provider about simple adjustments you can incorporate into your daily wellness routine, such as including a melatonin dietary supplement, in addition to considering other lifestyle changes,” adds Alberts.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who nap was commissioned by Nature’s Bounty between July 28 and July 30, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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Associate Editor