As unemployment rises, we nap more

Among the results of a Pew Research Center survey on napping, released Wednesday, is this illuminating factoid: the unemployed are more likely to nap during the week, and lower income adults are disproportionately more likely to nap than middle and upper income adults. Also, more men than women nap, especially among adults over 50, where 41 percent of men nap, compared to 28 percent of women. Researchers worried about under-reporting in the survey of 1,488, noting the "stigma" of napping, leading me to wonder: might these results be far milder than reality, and might there be a connection between napping and the economy?

While there is of course no direct data on causality, and there are many more boring reasons for this, it is true that the ranks of the unemployed are predominantly made of of menfolk; the latest unemployment data shows that 10 percent of American adult men are unemployed, compared to 7.6 percent of women. The racial makeup of unemployment, napping and lower-income wage earners are also nearly identical, raising the question again: which is causing which? Is the sort of person who naps more likely to earn less, be laid off more readily? Or is napping our self-medication against unemployment and low wages?