Can more sleep earn you a pay rise?

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and working long hours in pursuit of a pay rise you may be surprised (or annoyed?!) to hear that there’s an easier way. Getting just one hour of extra sleep per night could see your wages increase by at least five per cent! More sleep and more money - what’s not to like?

Economists Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader of the University of California found that employees who sleep more also earn more money, on average. In fact, people who increase their sleep by just one hour per night had wage increases of 5% in the long run.

Gibson and Shrader’s study looked at workers and their wages throughout the United States. They looked at townships with similar socioeducational and professional standings but located at the very furthest western and eastern edges of the same timezone - so each received a different amount of daylight hours.

Workers located furthest west had more sunlight later in the evening and so on average went to bed an hour later than the workers in the locations to the east of the timezone. But all workers - both east and west - had to wake up at the same time for work each morning as they were all in the same timezone. As a result, workers in the west had less time to sleep than the workers in the east.

The study found that once accounting for other factors and influences such as local cost of living, house prices and so on, the extra hour of sleep per night returned in eastern locations equated to a pay rise of between 4% and 5%.

Not bad considering the UK’s Office for National Statistics found that in 2018, median full time weekly earnings increased by 3.5% from the prior year. Just imagine getting that pay rise, but not by working harder, or spending more hours in the office and hoping your boss notices and decides to reward you - but instead by spending an hour longer in bed each night!

So, besides the myriad other benefits of having more and higher quality sleep - such as increased productivity, better memory, and an improved ability to learn - sleeping more will also make you richer.

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