From Millennials to Gen Z: Science exposes which generation naps the most

Napping is something not everyone can do but for those who can they are often a gift. But did you know that the year you were born says a lot about your napping habit?

The year you were born could impact how much you nap, according to science
© The King of Staten Island / Apatow production & A Separation / Asghar Farhadi
The year you were born could impact how much you nap, according to science

For people who are able to nap, these moments of sleep in the middle of the day can become life savers. While some of us feel no shame in sleeping during the day, we can’t say the same for everyone.

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If you work in an office, it is often frowned upon to disappear for 30 minutes in the afternoon to take a nap. However, more studies are now proving that taking naps is not only good for the body but also for the brain, therefore making you a better worker.

If taking a nap at work seems like the craziest thing, it might have to do with the year you were born. Indeed, studies now find that different generations have wildly different approaches to sleep.

‘Gen Zs are cats in human bodies’

If you’re on TikTok there might be a chance that you’ve come across Jake Lambert’s video about napping. The comedian’s video highlights the clear differences in napping between generations.

According to his observations Boomers (born between 1946 - 1964) ‘like to disguise their naps.’ They like to have the TV on or read a book and just fall asleep therefore taking an unplanned but welcomed nap. The following generation, Gen X (1965 - 1980) are already very different. Indeed, Lambert perceives them as the generation who thinks of napping as a weakness. The real shift in how napping is perceived appears with Millennials (1981 - 1996). Indeed Lambert says that this generation believed that napping is their ‘God-given right.’ And Gen Z (1996 - 2012) are the experts in napping. He says:

They basically see life as something that interrupts their naps. Whereas Millennials see napping as their God-given right, they see napping as their basic human right and can and do naps whenever they feel like it. Because Gen Zs are basically, as far as I can tell, just cats in human bodies.

While Jake Lambert’s video could be seen as just funny banter, there might be scientific truth to it …


a bit about napping #generations#millennial#genz#napping

♬ original sound - Jake Lambert Comedy

Read more: Doctor reveals the perfect nap length to avoid feeling groggy

80% of Gen Z have taken a nap at work

When looking at Jake Lambert’s comments, it seems like all the Gen Zs agree. They say:

Gen Z who can and will fall asleep basically anywhere if I can get remotely comfortable
As someone who is gen z, 16 hour naps, followed by a standard 8h sleep is the best
as gen Z I didn't hear bomb hit my street during napping with all windows opened😭

We could keep going. But what does science have to say about that?

A survey done in 2021 by a luxury bed manufacturer reveals that napping has a significant impact in people’s lives at and outside of work. The study shows that ‘Gen Z’ers were most likely to admit taking workplace naps at 80%, compared to 70% of Millennials.’ Not only that, this study shows that people who napped at work were more likely to be in managerial positions.

Moreover, a study done by Monthly Labor Review which is the principal journal of fact, analysis, and research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor, reveals that Millennials sleep more than Gen X.

It appears that the younger generation sleeps 22 minutes more than their older counterparts. This difference is explained by several factors. The study explains:

There are important societal differences between millennials and Generation X to consider. Millennials are less likely to be married, own a house, or have children. They’re more likely to have advanced degrees and be employed.
Millennials reported less time spent on childcare, housework, and lawn care compared to Gen X, which may allow them more time to spend on personal care activities, such as sleep, exercise, and leisure time.

Moreover, Michelle Freeman who authored this study states:

Sleeping a lot was considered lazy [among baby boomers]. We now respect the fact that more sleep is good for our health.

It seems like comedy and science agree on this!

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