A Look at Sleep Deprivation—Wall Street Style

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

In the city that supposedly never sleeps, it’s not nightlife that’s preventing people from getting their Z’s: It’s more work. (Martin Novak/Shutterstock)

New York is supposedly the city that supposedly never sleeps—or at least, according to data from the activity-tracking service Jawbone, the city that goes to bed 28 minutes later than the rest of the country on average. More often than not, what's keeping many of us up at night is work.

That’s especially the case on Wall Street, where sleep deprivation has long been part of the industry's office culture. Ilya Marritz, a WNYC reporter, looked into why this is the case—and what effects a lack of sleep has on Wall Street workers. 

This month WNYC is launching a crowd-sourced project called “Clock Your Sleep." They're asking you to track how much you sleep every night, and share your stories of what keeps you up. Click here to participate and for more information.


Ilya Marritz

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

Katherine from Brooklyn

You're ignoring the contribution of cocaine to the lifestyle of workaholic Wall Streeters. The kind of behavior, including the raging tantrums thrown when a mistake is made, described re Wall Street traders is cocaine-addict behavior. No one, not even the self-proclaimed masters of the universe, can perform well, then go out and party night after night like many Wall Streeters do, for four years withiut it. It's physically impossible. I know because I worked on a real estate securities trading floor in the late 80s (not as a trader) and saw first-hand evidence of this. I seriously doubt much has changed in this regard since then.

Apr. 02 2014 04:05 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sleepless Brokers doing "The Wall Street Shuffle"

Apr. 02 2014 02:26 PM
Virginia from Trevose

I don't have much sympathy for the wall st. Bankers..
I used to sleep so sound that my mother always said bombs could be
Set off around me and I wouldn't be disturbed ..
Now I'm 50 + and entering the menapause cycle and sleep doesn't
Exist in my nights.. It's awful...

Apr. 02 2014 01:08 PM
David Witner from Akron, Ohio

Give me a break. Wall Street bankers make 10 to 100 time more than the average american. The 4 year "burn out" discussed in your article allows them to make more than most do in a lifetime in that short time. I have been a firefighter for 30+ years, I'm up most nights for true emergencies and some non-urgent issues. I work a second job just to supplement my income due to low wages and pay cuts. Give me a chance to work on Wall Street for 4 years, I assure I would work less hours in those years than I do now.

Apr. 02 2014 09:59 AM

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