While side hustles may offer a financial lifeline, addressing their potential downsides on sleep quality is crucial. MattressNextDay’s research highlights the shifting work habits of side hustlers, showing that 45% of them consistently clock in over 40 hours per week.
However, even more shockingly, a quarter of Brits surpassed the 50–hour mark, equating to five million Brits, given that 20 million have a side hustle. This growing trend raises concerns about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, as it goes beyond the legal working limit of 48 hours per week in the UK – increasing the likelihood of insomnia and more.
Education professionals, particularly teachers, seem drawn towards side hustles, possibly due to recent movements advocating for better pay. Teachers already put in an average of 54 hours per week, so the additional hours from side hustles could significantly impact their sleep and well-being.
The report underlines the connection between extended working hours and sleep disturbances, including insomnia and early morning awakenings. For individuals juggling two roles, longer hours can worsen sleep difficulties, contributing to insomnia that already affects one in three people.
Working smarter, not harder: How limiting side hustles to two hours per week can prevent burnout
If you are wondering how many hours you should be working to avoid any time pressures and risks of burning out, which could later impact your sleep, there is an answer.
A time management expert conducted a study of 900 people and discovered that those who work 7.6 hours per day or 38 hours a week – did not feel starved of time or experienced pressure when trying to complete their work. So, given that the average Brit works 36 hours per week, Brits should ideally only spend two hours side hustling per week – or they could burn out.
Three side hustles you can complete in two hours per week – raking up to £5,200 per year
MattressNextDay has shared three side hustles that can earn you additional income without working too many hours.
Pet-sitting – £1,600+ per year
The average pet sitter can make around £16 per hour, quickly adding up if you have the pet at home. Should you do this for the recommended two hours per week, this amounts to £1,664 per year (pre-tax); naturally, you can make more if you pet sit for more than two hours, which shouldn’t be too strenuous.
Hone your craft – £5,200+ per year.
If you are a writer, blogger or creative by trade, there are many opportunities you can take. For instance, many companies hire freelance copywriters to draft copy for ads, blog posts and more. People continuously seek other skills, such as photography and graphic design. You can start with sites such as Fiverr, making finding work easy.
An hourly rate for a freelance writer can start from upwards of £50, which is £100 per week (if you work the recommended two hours), so an additional £5,200 per year (pre-tax)
Rent your car parking space – £1,000 per year
If you have the luxury of parking in a location many travel to, you could rent out that space. Consider renting your space on marketplace sites; you could make money without leaving your home. However, you should only do this if you own the space.
It’s been estimated that you could make over £1000 each year by renting your parking space.
Five expert tips for improving your sleep schedule as a side hustler
Side hustles are becoming increasingly common. But that doesn’t mean you should accept sleep disturbances. There are ways you can improve your sleep schedule while taking on a second role:
- Have a dedicated workspace. Keep your work separate from your sleep area. Avoid working from your bed or bedroom to establish a clear distinction between work and rest.
- Embrace darkness. Invest in blackout blinds or a sleep mask to counteract the impact of daylight on melatonin production.
- Disconnect before bed. Switch off electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime to prevent the disruption of melatonin production caused by blue light.
- Follow your passion. Choose side hustles that align with your skills and interests to reduce the risk of burnout and enhance job satisfaction.
- Focus on one task. Concentrate on one task at a time to boost productivity, reduce stress, and prevent burnout.
In conclusion, while side hustles can provide financial relief, their impact on sleep and overall well-being is significant. By following expert tips and making informed choices from various side hustle options, individuals can balance earning extra income and getting a good night’s sleep.