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These people are getting paid to sleep on the job

A lack of sleep costs companies billions in lost productivity and is the equivalent of going to work drunk. Yet for some workers, sleeping on the job earns them a gold star.

While some staffers really do get to nap while on the payroll, others work to give clients a good day’s (or night’s) sleep.

The latest yawner of a job comes from Sleepy’s, the mattress retailer with 700 US locations. It recently sent out a missive seeking its next Snooze Director—a college students or recent graduate who helps with social media and tests mattresses. The job pays $10 an hour and comes with ample opportunities to stretch out and rest.

Everyone from anesthesiologists to entrepreneurs are getting paid by the business of sleep. A couple in the UK opened the online Insomnia Store after they could find few tools to shoo away sleeplessness. Baby nurse services including one called Let Mommy Sleep provide caregivers so new moms, especially of twins or triplets, get some shut-eye.

Here are some jobs where sleep is central:

  • Hypnotherapists. They put their clients to sleep to encourage weight loss, stress reduction and smoking cessation. They, of course are awake during these sessions.
  • Stress-relief consultants. Mark Gorkin, who conducts seminars as The Stress Doc, will often take a 15-minute cat nap in the middle of an all-day workshop. “I want them to see me ‘ in action.’ I see myself as a role model, and invariably my napping stimulates discussion among participants,” he says.
  • Pilots and truck drivers. Pilots who fly international flights of 12 hours or more are required to leave the cockpit and sleep. On flights from New York to Mumbai, another pilot onboard takes over during nap time. In several countries, truck drivers have similar requirements that they pull off the road to slumber.
  • Sleep concierge. Luxury hotels including The Benjamin in Manhattan help you pick out the perfect pillow, or add other sleep aids to your room service deliveries.
  • Sleep technicians. They work with doctors and others up all night to improve patients’ sleep or relieve insomnia. Some are respiratory therapists, with a median US pay of $54,280; others are clinicians with specialities such as pediatric sleep. Indeed lists more than 1,200 openings for various sleep technologist positions.
  • Software developers. Many jobs for software engineers mention that a nap room is included in the benefits, according to Indeed. Yes, they must write code, but how will they test to see if it works without first having a nap.
  • Mattress testers. Yes, some people really are paid to find the finest bedding. Consumer Reports sends staffers out to test mattresses.
  • Overnight care staff. Some jobs clearly state that the staffer can sleep as long as the patients in the health care center or assisted living home are resting.

You can follow Vickie on Twitter at @WorkingKind. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

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