Wouldn’t it be awesome to get paid to sleep?
Imagine how relaxed you’d be after one shift.
The thing is, there are internships, part-time jobs and get paid to sleep studies (including NASA’s infamous $18,000 bed rest study!) that actually encourage you to shut your eyes for hours at a time…
and receive cash by the end of your “shift.”
Interesting concept, but why is there a need?
Well, majority of these get paid to sleep studies aid in the development and discovery of treatment options for sleep-related problems.
Mattress companies like Simba Sleep, or health apps like FitBit Versa have both studied and tracked people’s sleep habits in the past. Or how about Mattress Firm’s call-out for people who want to become the company’s next “Snoozetern?”
Okay, the deadline may have passed, but there are still very real opportunities for you to make money just by sleeping.
Even hospitals have entire departments dedicated to figuring out how to tackle sleep problems.
What’s cool is that these studies are happening in the United States as we speak.
And you can get hired even if you don’t have sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) or other sleep-related problems.
Read on to get all the details you’ll need for this “dream” job…
How to Participate in Get Paid to Sleep Studies
To join get paid to sleep studies, you first need to check if there are available trials locally. Check for studies here (search “sleep” and choose your location, then filter out your age, gender, and other criteria).
You’re going to see a couple of studies, but there’s a good chance you won’t qualify for all of them.
However, you can increase your acceptance chances if you read the study’s criteria and pick those you’re eligible.
For example, sleep studies look for volunteers within a specific age range, weight, or sometimes gender.
In some cases, you should also have sleep apnea or other specific medical requirements to participate in the study.
Make sure you know what you’re signing up for, before sending an application. Learn the duration of in-hospital periods, payment terms, and other details.
Of course, you have to be honest with your answers (don’t make up a sleep problem just to get paid to sleep).
You can send your applications remotely and only visit the facility in the later part of the process.
What to Expect Once You Land a Spot in the Trial
If you’re accepted to the study, you don’t just begin sleeping at the facility. You still have to complete several tests and interviews, including:
- A physical exam – this involves the typical cup-peeing and blood-sampling tests
- A psychological exam – a test or interview so doctors can determine if you can handle the stress involved in the study
- Other sleep-related exams – Probably to confirm your sleep problems and identify the severity
While there isn’t actual sleeping just yet, you’d be pleased to know that you will still be paid for your time just by completing the final assessment phase.
After passing the exams, you’ll be given several assignments to complete.
This may include wearing a fitness device to track your activity, listing down food intake throughout the duration of your trial, keeping a sleep log, or other types of documentation that the study requires.
In most cases, you’ll have a go-to contact person who will tell you everything you need to know and remind you about these requirements. He/she will see you through the study and do everything in his/her power for you not to get kicked out of the trials.
What Happens During the Sleep Trial
Once you start the actual study, you shouldn’t expect getting a full night’s sleep with your comfortable pillows and sheets.
Here’s 3 reasons why you might have some trouble sleeping:
1. Medical devices
Be prepared for a couple of needles throughout the trial.
You will definitely get paid to sleep, but be aware that most participants are required to wear an IV, electrodes, rectal thermometer in some parts of the study.
Bedpans may also be needed, since some phases of the study may require you to maintain a constant position.
2. Challenging sleep requirements
Aside from the IV and other medical devices you must wear, you might also be required to maintain a specific posture while sleeping.
This can be challenging, since we’re all used to our own sleeping positions and changing it overnight can lead to sleepless nights.
Don’t worry though, because you’ll be given all the details of the study before you begin.
So if sitting in a same spot for several hours is something you can’t do, you’d have the chance to back out before trial begins.
Can’t stand a few hours without your phone? Or how about now knowing the actual time?
As a participant of get paid to sleep studies, you’ll be cut off from the outside world.
This means no internet, no phone, no laptops, and even no clock.
In most cases, you won’t even have windows to know if it’s daytime or nighttime since you can’t check the sun.
Doctors in the study will tell you what you need to know, so don’t believe them. They’re in charge of “your night and day” throughout the study’s observation period.
Depending on the details you’ve signed up for, sleep studies held in a facility may be as short as a couple of days to as long as 1 month. Most long-term studies are done half at the facility and half at the volunteer’s own homes.
Non-Lab Sleep-Related Gigs
If you’re not a fan of being isolated or poked by needles, you can get a job as a bed tester instead.
There are no strict rules here, except for sleeping on the assigned beds and providing some feedback.
Bed testers are hired by companies in the mattress, pillows, sleep devices, and similar industries.
It may sound like a wacky job, but it actually exists. Some success stories include:
Travelodge’s Director of Sleep, Wayne Munnelly, got paid to sleep within the company’s 25,000 beds.
Roisin Madigan is a luxury bed tester who earned £1000 to sleep in designer beds daily for 30 days.
How Much Can You Earn?
Now that I’ve tacked the downsides of sleep studies, let’s discuss the benefits and amount of cash you can earn:
- APPLICATION STAGE: During the application, exams, interviews, and overall assessment, participants are paid either a daily wage or per-task basis for their time. Every task completed ranges from $25 and $100.
- AFTER THE TRIAL: Payment for medical studies average around $6,000 for 5-day to a week-long’s study, while a 30-day study can go from $10k or higher. NASA’s sleep program is always in demand because it offers a whopping $18k for 70-day participation.
If you’re going to be paid on a daily basis, know that $150/day is the average amount paid to participants if trials are conducted physically at the lab.
The type of study also affects how much you’ll get paid to sleep.
For example, if you’re paid to test mattresses and duvets, you earn per-gig or per-study but it doesn’t compare to trials conducted in a facility.
Make sure to discuss payment, payout breakdown and other money-related issues before you begin with the trial.
You should know if your payment will be taxed, when to expect payment, and how you’ll be paid.
More Ways to Get Paid to Sleep
Sleep studies fall under clinical studies that a lot of people might not qualify for.
You can also check out these resources, if want to earn extra cash from sleep studies:
- MedSleep regularly conducts sleep trials. (Canada-based)
- NASA’s sleep study pays a legendary $18k if you complete 70 days of the trial.
- Harvard’s division of Sleep Medicine opens up studies each sem.
- University of Colorado’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory pays $600 to $1,800 for 4 days of participation.
- Institute of Translational Health Sciences tackles sleep disorders with the help of volunteers.
Getting paid to sleep can be a dream job for the right person.
The rewards for lab-based studies are definitely worth few days of discomfort.