I will sleep when I am dead? Sleep and self-employment

  • Marcus T. WolfeEmail author
  • Pankaj C. Patel


Anecdotal evidence suggests that entrepreneurs report fewer hours of sleep. However, in samples of 12,086 individuals in the 2012 and 2014 cross-sections of The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and 47,851 individuals in the 2013–2016 National Health Interview Sample cross-sections, our results indicate that self-employed individuals report more sleep. The results in these two samples further show that psychological distress mediates the relationship between self-employment and lower self-reported sleep time and poorer sleep quality. In the third sample of 7714 individuals in waves 1 and 4 of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey, self-employed individuals reporting increase in sleep from wave 1 to wave 4 also reported a very small increase in monthly gross income, indicating limited, if any, gains to income from increasing sleep hours.


Psychological distress Self-employment Sleep 

JEL Classification

I12 I32 L26 


Supplementary material

11187_2019_166_MOESM1_ESM.docx (72 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 72 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Price College of BusinessUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Villanova School of BusinessVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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