When I first decided to go self-employed I had many of my friends and family telling me that it’s something they wouldn’t do, just because it’s too much of stress and you work all the time – having minimum sleep.

I have to say when I started I was slightly stressed, but that’s healthy because I cared about my income and future financial security.

After going freelance I joined many social media groups that allowed me chatting to other freelancers and small business owners. I had a few conversations and mentioned this ‘stress and no sleep’ thought that many people seemed to have. Those freelancers I spoke to all said they don’t feel that way and are very happy at their new job – freelance job.

So I decided to look into this. I surveyed 168 UK freelancers and small business owners and asked them questions about their sleeping habits.

The Results

Out of 168 self-employed people I spoke to, 64% are freelancers and 36% small business owners.

When asked how many hours a night they sleep, 36% said they have 6-7 hours sleep a night, and further 35% manage to get 7-8 hours of sleep. 19% sleep between 5-6 hours.

The NHS states that we need eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly. So, if 43% of UK freelancers and business owners get between 7-9 hours of sleep, the question is – is it a good-quality sleep?

The research showed that 42% don’t feel stressed and sleep through the whole night! Of those that don’t manage to get a whole night sleep, almost two-thirds say they only wake up once.

Just over third say the reason for this is work (34%), closely followed by family (small kids), 21%.

The stats also highlighted that UK self-employed people don’t have problems to switch off – 60% said it takes them less than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night.




Many surveys and scientists highlighted how important napping is, and how much having a nap can help with employees’ productivity. So if self-employed people are their own boss, do they let themselves have a nap during the work hours? The survey showed that 17% do take naps, of those, 42% take 20 minutes, 29% nap for up to 30 minutes and 23% enjoy up to one hour of a healthy nap.


*The survey was carried out between 19th of September and 29th of September. For raw data and more information please feel free to contact [email protected]