Survey: People willing to lose 2.4 hours of sleep per night for a $25,000 raise

Some people think sacrificing sleep is essential to getting ahead. Others would happily sacrifice sleep if rewarded with more money and perks.

Can you sleep your way to the top? Actually, many people think you have to sacrifice sleep to get there. While many people lose sleep at night over work stress, many are willing to give up sleep for success or a major raise at work, a new survey found.

Mattress Advisor surveyed over 1,000 working professionals, from entry-level to executives, about their sleep habits and how their ideas of success.

The most surprising, if slightly disturbing finding: Respondents would be willing to lose almost 2.5 hours of sleep per night for a $25,000 pay raise.

How well they’d perform on that amount of sleep is up for debate – the people surveyed said that the least amount of sleep they could really function on was 5.5 hours. Even losing just 2 hours of sleep can effect your mood, and one recent study says missing just a couple of hours of sleep over two days was enough to cause significant anger.

Sleep, money & power

The less money offered, the less sleep respondents said they’d be willing to sacrifice. People said they would give up 1.6 hours for a $10,000 raise, and one single hour of sleep for a $5,000 raise.

And then there’s power: Men would choose more success (50.8%) over sleep, but 55.6% of women would choose sleep over success.

Men said they’d be willing to give up an average of 30 minutes more sleep than women each night (1.9 hours vs. 1.4 hours) to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company.

When it comes to perks, men and women agree: each would give up an hour of sleep for an extra week of paid vacation, or the privilege of working from home once a week.

Execs do it less?

Who prioritizes sleep in the hierarchy? Not those at the top of the chain. 54% of executive said they thought it was necessary to give up some to be successful. Only 42.9% of entry-level workers felt the same way.

42% of execs also felt it was worth being sleep deprived for success. That feeling trended down by hierarchy: 32% of middle management felt the same way, and approximately 25% of both intermediate and entry-level workers agreed.

Curiously, 54% of executives reported getting an average of 6.6 hours of sleep every night. Only 39% of middle management only received that much, and 35% of entry-level workers.

That last point is a good thing for execs – we’ve just seen the latest example of sleepless CEOs with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose sleep-deprived ramblings filled the media until Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson both have had to tell him to get some sleep.

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.