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Melissa Locker
August 16, 2016

Those precious vacation days can be the gateway to adventure, relaxation, exploration, or family bonding time, but according to a new study many people are using them for something basic: a good night’s sleep.

Between work stress and the news cycle, many people are finding it difficult to get some shut eye. In a study commissioned by Princess Cruises, 72 percent of respondents said they use at least one vacation day a year just to catch up on sleep.

Two out of five respondents used an entire work week (five days) of vacation time to hit the hay, according to the recent survey by Wakefield Research.

A week’s worth of cat naps sounds pretty good compared to how some of the people surveyed used their vacation days: doctor's or dentist's appointments (36 percent), family emergencies (37 percent), sick days for children or loved ones (31 percent), home projects (23 percent) and running household errands (23 percent). In total, 68 percent of respondents had used vacation days for activities that were definitely not vacation.

Of course, people using their vacation days to vacation aren’t guaranteed a good night’s sleep either. A 2002 Gallup poll revealed that 54 percent of people reported they returned from vacation feeling tired—even more tired than before they left.

While using up valuable vacation days just to sleep or run errands sounds resoundingly practical at best, at least those people are actually using their vacation days. Earlier this year, a survey revealed that in 2015 Americans had a staggering 658 million unused vacation days, 222 million of which were lost entirely because they couldn’t be rolled over or paid out.

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