Opportunity Study Finds U.S. Professionals Work More and Sleep Less

Business professionals in the United States are working more (8.17 hours) and sleeping less (6.7 hours) per day according to a recent survey conducted by Opportunity.  The average U.S. worker gets less than the minimally recommended 7 hours of sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation who claim the average healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at a high rate.


Inspired by the recent Glassdoor survey analyzing the amount of sleep the average American worker gets per night, Opportunity expanded the survey beyond sleep patterns to also include work patterns among it's professional network of more than 2,000,000 users to compare and contrast the results.  Portions of the Opportunity survey mirrored the questions asked by Glassoor, with additional questions added by Opportunity in an effort to reach additional conclusions about the overall nature of sleep/work patterns of U.S. professionals as well as the demands and expectations placed on professionals by both their employer and themselves.  An overall breakdown of the Opportunity members who took the survey include:

Gender Breakdown
Age Breakdown
Marital Status
Business Role

What We Found

U.S. professionals are working more and sleeping less. Overall, the average U.S. professional is getting 6.7 hours of sleep during the workweek (with nearly 40% claiming to receive less than 6 hours per night - possibly less*), while working an average of 8.17 hours per day (and 40% claiming to work as much as 10+ hours per day).  Interestingly, although men work 30 minutes longer than women per day, they get almost 1 hour more worth of sleep. Males surveyed average 6.91 hours of sleep per night versus 8.26 hours of work per day while Females averaged 6.36 hours of sleep versus 8.0 hours or work. 

*Discovered in this survey was that 36% of respondents also claimed to check their phone at least 1x during the night (during sleep hours), leading us to conclude that the average number of hours of sleep professionals are getting could be even less.

Based on age, those age 18-34 slept the least (6.11 hours) while those age 45-60 slept the most (6.91).  The sleep deprived 18-34 age group also works the least averaging only 7.77 hours of work per day - which begs the question "what are people in that age range doing with all of that extra time?". Those who worked the most (8.4 hours) were in the age range of 35 - 44 years. 

Based on location, professionals in the Southwest are sleeping the least (only 5.70 hours per night) while professionals in the Northeast are sleeping the most averaging 6.88 hours per night while also working the most (8.76 hours per day). Professionals located in the West reported themselves as working the least (7.52 hours).

Married professionals are working more (8.22 hours) and sleeping less (6.69 hours) than their single counterparts (8.10 & 6.79 respectively). 

Lastly, professionals describing themselves as 'business owners' surprisingly claimed to work less hours (7.90 hours) than those describing themseleves as 'employees' (8.44 hours).  Both claimed similar sleep patters with 6.96 vs. 6.91 hours respectively. 

In sum, male employees who are married and located in the Northeast between the ages of 35-44 are working the MOST while single women in the West between the ages of 18-34 are working the LEAST.  Additionally, men located in the West between the ages of 45-59 sleep the MOST while women in the Southwest between the ages of 18-34 sleep the LEAST.

Age Range
Marital Status
Business Role

Findings Comparison: Opportunity vs. Glassdoor

Our ability to compare surveys was limited to sleep pattern data provided by Glassdoor (note: Glassdoor did not include specific data related to work hours).  Most of the findings were fairly consistent and within a reasonable range across both studies with the overall average sleep times being similar (6.7 hours vs. 6.9 hours) as well as gender and marital status comparisons.  The biggest discrepancy among the two surveys was the difference in sleep times among 18-34 year olds.  Opportunity found that 18-34 year olds slept an average of 6.11 hours per night versus Glassdoors finding of 7.4 hours.  Below are the detailed comparisons based on what Glassdoor provided in their survey.

Overall Hours of Sleep per day comparison
Hours of Sleep per day by age comparison
Hours of Sleep per day by gender comparison
Hours of Sleep per day by marital status comparison

Other Interesting Discoveries

Additional questions asked (and responses given) within this survey are listed below.  The conclusion we can draw from these additional questions (combined with those provided above) paint a picture of an overworked, sleep deprived and potentially stressed-out U.S. workforce.

Do you continue to work during vacation?
If yes, why?
Employees Only: Does your employer encourage you to take time off?
When you are sick, do you continue to work?

Datasource: Opportunity

Opportunity shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described or information contained on these pages. The data, information and related graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such. Opportunity gives no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, utility or completeness of this information.