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Sleep habits of the self-employed

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Les habitudes de sommeil des travailleurs autonomes

Sleep habits of the self-employed

sommeil-travailleurs-autonomes-jumpbedThey often work from home. Many have jobs linked to the web.. They make up about 15% of the workers in Quebec. Who are we talking about? The self-employed! These workers are their own boss and create their schedules as they wish, giving them greater potential for atypical working hours. We wondered if their sleep patterns reflected theirless structured schedules. Here, we present our small, and admittedly not very scientific, study on the sleep habits of self-employed workers… but interesting at any rate !

Do self-employed workers sleep more or less than employees?

This question has been fuelling our curiosity. Some may imagine that since they are king of their schedule, self-employed workers might allow themselves more hours of sleep per night. On the contrary, others may believe that self-employed workers sleep less, since they often work a lot, especially in the evening.

The truth? It is somewhat disappointing. According to our survey, it seems self-employed workers sleep no more and no less than employees. The average respondent reported sleeping 7 hours a night, which is a good reflection of the national average.

What does a self-employed sleep schedule look like?

Some, like Marie-Pier, are happy not to set an alarm clock and to sleep a little longer, while others, like Gabrielle and Audrey, like to get up very early, because they are most productive in the morning. In any case, most self-employed people have fairly stable bedtime and waking hours. At Christina’s, it’s her daughter who chooses the wake up time by joining Mom and Dad in bed. A cute little personal alarm clock!

On the other hand, the atypical schedules of some — such as Mathieu, who often works at events — mean less stable sleep schedule. He says it himself, with a laugh: “My rhythm of life is very random, a bit like a rock star! ”

Most interviewees told us they have one schedule for the week and another for the weekend, as most employees do. Josianne is a prime example, she loves to get up at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays to spend time meditating and writing.  On weekends, she prefers lazing in bed and enjoying a delicious brunch. Everyone has their own ideal balance!

The children in all this?

Not surprisingly, what most influences the sleep of our self-employed interviewees is whether or not they have children.

Routines often becomes shared with the rhythms of a baby or toddler. Some have to wake up during the night to breastfeed and admit to waking up earlier than they would like because of their children’s early rise. This is especially the case for Amélie, though she insists that having a routine makes things easier for her and her baby.

For her part, Catherine confides that: “Since I became a mother… my life has really adapted to my son’s rhythm and schedule. I always slept very well before, but now I admit that I find it difficult because even though my son is almost 2 years old, he still wakes up during the night and sleep time is quite challenging.” This reality affects many parents, whether self-employed or not.

jumpbed-habitudes-sommeil-enfants-routineWhat does a bedtime routine look like for the self-employed?

Some, like Tamara, are very pragmatic about their routine: make-up removal, facial, writing the to-do list for the next day and finishing with a little reading or TV series.

Others have more elaborate personal routines. For Sylvie, bedtime is an opportunity to talk with her daughter, take a nice bath and do a guided meditation before sleep.

For Chiara, the key is relaxation. This is not the time to listen to a drama or read the news. A good herbal tea and a comedy allow her to calm down before bedtime.

What does a morning routine look like for the self-employed?

To work or not to work upon rising: that’s the question! Self-employed workers are divided on the subject.

Alexandra checks her emails very early in the morning, even before breakfast. It gives her a better idea of what lays ahead for the day.

For Alexanne, who is often on the move, her glass of water and morning yoga session are the two things that keep her in control, no matter where she is in the world.

Celia, on the other hand, lets herself be guided equally by the demands of her day and how she feels. Sometimes she would like to have a stricter routine, but as long as all her tasks are completed at the end of the day, everything is OK for her. She therefore allows herself a few moments of personal relaxation during the day, as she pleases.

As a general rule, it is often “all or nothing” : some self-employed workers have very elaborate morning routines, including writing, meditation or yoga, for example, while others rush breakfast and get to work very quickly, always accompanied by a good coffee!

Are you self-employed or employed? What does your sleep schedule and routine look like?

A huge thank you to all the self-employed workers who responded to our little survey and helped us conduct this study – non-scientific, but informative nonetheless!