Reading: Professional Sleepers (B1)


A company in the USA is paying its employees to sleep more. Staff at the insurance company Aetna will get $300 a year added to their salary if they get at least seven hours of sleep a night. That works out to just over an extra dollar for each night the employee sleeps over seven hours.

The idea behind this scheme is employee performance. Human resources officials say employees will work better if they have slept well. They add that a workforce that is more awake and alert will mean the company will perform better. Staff can either record their sleep automatically using a wrist monitor that connects to Aetna’s computers, or manually record how long they have slept every night.
There are a number of studies that warn that not sleeping enough can affect our ability to do our job. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that the average worker in the USA loses 11.3 working days of productivity a year because of not getting enough sleep. This costs companies about $2,280 for one worker. It estimates that the US economy loses $63.2 billion a year because workers do not sleep more than seven hours a night.

A 2015 study in Europe by the Rand Corporation found that staff who slept less than seven hours per night were far less productive than workers who had eight or more hours of sleep. The staff at Aetna also receive extra cash if they do exercise.




  1. How much extra money can workers get for sleeping more?
  2. What is the idea behind this scheme?
  3. Who said employees would work better after more sleep?
  4. What will perform better if workers are more awake and alert?
  5. What kind of monitor can workers use to record their sleep?
  6. How many days of productivity does the average worker lose a year?
  7. How much does a lack of sleep cost companies per worker?
  8. How much does a lack of sleep among workers cost the US economy?
  9. What did the Rand Corporation do in 2015?
  10. What else can the insurance company workers do to get more money?



SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. employees
  2. salary
  3. scheme
  4. alert
  5. monitor
  6. affect
  7. average
  8. far
  9. productive
  10. extra
  1. ordinary
  2. detector
  3. a lot
  4. workers
  5. additional
  6. aware
  7. pay
  8. useful
  9. plan
  10. change