I can’t even say “It’s not what it seems!” in a paranoid voice like the sibling caught stealing the final ice-cream serving (too irrelevant?) because this job is exactly what it’s titled. People are paid to sleep on any surface (usually a bed) for research projects. A project will evaluate a question such as: “Which type of bed makes one fall asleep the fastest and thus is the most comfortable?”.
But being a professional sleeper does not always involve sleeping peacefully on a fresh, warm linen bed. Sometimes the projects can mean the sleeper has to sleep in very uncomfortable conditions. For example the project could be evaluating the question: “At what temperature does one begin to experience nightmares in their sleep?”
You could find yourself sleeping in scientific labs to furniture shops depending on the field/point of the research.
Still finding it hard to believe this career exists? Check out number 4. in this video.
Shall we continue?
Personality and skills required for this position:
Although this position requires you to sleep most of the time when you wake up the researchers need the feedback of your experience, in detail, thus you need to be a competent communicator and writer and detail orientated. Being able to sleep even if wires and cords are attached to you is important. Also, 18 years of life need to be behind your name.
How to get into this career:
There is little research on how to become a professional sleeper. Some sources say having a degree in textiles is in an applicants favour, but it is not crucial. Many find the work through personal contacts.
My “personal” suggestion is that you look online for openings in your area. Knowing the different types of Professional Sleeper positions will help you narrow down your searches:
-Scientific/ Medicine research subject
-Exhibitionist Sleeper (Only apply for this position if you are open to being a live sleeping exhibit for others to watch and if you are open to taking sleeping pills to do so.)
The working hours:
The hours are irregular. You sign up to an Professional Sleeper agency and when research projects come up you are contacted.
The only verified statistic I could find was that you can be paid as much as $2730 – $10,125 for 2 or 4 weeks work. But the pay varies greatly.
-You are helping researchers solve their questions and projects just by sleeping.
-You learn about your sleeping disorders and get personal sleeping tips from professionals along the way (a service many pay hundreds for).
-You are getting paid to sleep, an activity that requires little to no effort.
-The hours fluctuate a lot and often one finds they have to sleep away from home a lot (the work life balance can be tricky).
-Many people judge you for “sleeping your life away” literally.
-The job will probably become boring at some point or the other.
-Professional sleepers are usually freelancers and their income is not high or constant.
My conclusion and rating on this career:
Hands down I’d say its a great job to do on the side for a little extra cash. But being Professional Sleeper full time sounds as though it could be the most unfulfilling job imaginable. Chances are you could end up in a stupor of laziness never wanting to challenge yourself and grow. Knowing myself, I would not cope well as a full time Professional Sleeper. It’s a 6/10 from me.