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

Abstract

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.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Source: https://nypost.com/2018/08/19/elon-musk-sleep-is-not-an-option/

  2. 2.

    Source: BRFSS Annual Survey Data (https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/annual_data/annual_data.htm)

  3. 3.

    Based on case-wise deletion, race category “7: Multiracial, non-Hispanic,” was omitted.

  4. 4.

    Source: http://quantpsy.org/sobel/sobel.htm

  5. 5.

    Source: https://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-6614-11

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Wolfe, M.T., Patel, P.C. I will sleep when I am dead? Sleep and self-employment. Small Bus Econ (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-019-00166-5

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Keywords

  • Psychological distress
  • Self-employment
  • Sleep

JEL Classification

  • I12
  • I32
  • L26