It's the dream job: making money while you sleep. And while it can seem impossible, it's actually not. Paid sleep studies actually exist—in the name of science! Research has never sounded so good. Or so lucrative! In fact, one woman recently made a whopping $12,000–just for taking a snooze. If you're an adult with relatively normal sleep patterns (pick me, pick me!), you could be a good candidate to take part in a sleep study.
Where Can You Find Open Sleep Studies?
Such studies are typically offered at most major hospitals, and all you have to do is search. For example, a quick Google search led me to the Georgetown University Medical Center website, where I was able to scroll through countless studies. Jillian Shea, the aforementioned sleeper with the big payout, entered two different studies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Just don't answer any ads on sketchy websites. They'll probably not pay you, and they might sell your organs on the black market.
What Sleep Study Participation Typically Looks Like
There are a number of hoops you'll need to jump through in order to be accepted into a study, such as blood and urine tests, but all of that is paid time. According to Shea, you can expect up to $100 for every step of the process you complete. But let's get to the important part: the sleeping. There are some downsides. After all, you're taking part in a research study that probably isn't about how to find the comfiest mattress for you. Isolation is one thing to expect. You'll be separated from the outside world during the observational periods, without your phone, windows, clocks or anything else to signify time cues. For how long? "I’ve taken part in studies as short as four days (for which I earned $4,000) and have seen others as long as 31 days (typically paying $10,000)," Shea writes. "Start small and work your way up once you’ve tried it once or twice." You also might have to wear medical gear while you sleep (or attempt to sleep), including an IV, a rectal thermometer, a heart monitor or any other number of devices. Some studies also require specific postures for part of the study, like sitting up straight for six hours. And they really mean no moving, so get ready to use a bedpan, Shea says. But there are also big upsides (aside from the obvious cash payouts). "When you’re not giving blood or following instructions, you can do pretty much whatever you want outside of activities that would raise your heart rate," Shea writes. "Hang out in your comfiest clothes and listen to music, write letters, draw or paint. I never make time to create comics, but I completed three during one study, not to mention finishing several books that had been collecting dust on my shelves." If that sounds good to you (and you can ignore the rectal thermometer), then see if you can sign up for any sleep studies in your area! Sweet dreams...