HR Strange But True

What a Nightmare: Strangest Work Dreams

Having dreams about work sounds like a nightmare! Sleep is an essential component in workplace productivity, but according to a new CareerBuilder® survey, 26% of respondents feel they don’t get enough sleep each night, and 60% say that a lack of sleep has negatively impacted their work.

office nightmare

DaniloKustaSalvadores / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Further findings from the CareerBuilder survey indicate that it is work that is actually keeping respondents up at night, with 47% citing this to be the issue. While doctors recommend a full 8 hours of sleep for a healthy, productive day, only 17% say they actually get the full amount. Over one-half of the respondents (52%) say they get 5 to 7 hours of sleep each night, and 6% say they get less than 5 hours of sleep.

The lack of sleep has negatively impacted nearly 60% of workers in some way. Respondents cite these negative consequences from lack of sleep:

  • It makes the day go by more slowly: 29%
  • It makes me less motivated: 27%
  • It makes me less productive: 25%
  • It affects my memory: 19%
  • It takes me longer to complete tasks: 13%
  • It makes me crabby with my coworkers: 13%
  • It makes me make mistakes: 12%
  • It makes me resent my job: 8%

On top of the negative workplace consequences, 13% of respondents say that they almost always, or often, dream about work. When asked what the craziest work dream they’ve had, respondents said the following:

  • Tyrannosaurus rex worked at my office.
  • I showed up to work 3 hours late, and I was only half dressed. That was OK though, because we have a relaxed dress code. The problem was I had not realized the Queen of England was visiting, and I felt embarrassed.
  • I work with software. While I was pregnant, I had a dream that I had to upload my unborn baby at the end of every day, or she’d lose her development for the day.
  • My coworker had a baby but wrapped it in a burrito wrapper.
  • I was naked getting ready to get on a roller coaster while trying to reconcile an account I’m working on.
  • My boss and I were mowing a lawn in the clouds on a go-kart.
  • My boss adopted me and my coworkers. He got us housing and took us shopping.
  • Famous people worked with me in place of my coworkers.
  • I drove the forklift home from work.
  • I opened a “bank and brew” where customers, after doing their banking business, had a choice of craft beers and tapas.

Some of these sound like pretty awesome dreams, especially the one with beer and tapas! Have you ever had a crazy dream—or nightmare—about work? Share it in our comments section below, or e-mail us, and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

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Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of and She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.