Surprising Work-Related Factors Affect Sleep Quality
> 4/18/2008 10:59:19 AM

New research reveals that the work-related factors commonly associated with disturbed sleep—such as long hours, working nights, or job insecurity—account for less sleep interference than other factors that emerged from survey analysis. Instead, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan found that individuals who felt frequently upset or bothered at work were 1.7 times as likely to have sleep issues than those who didn't report those feelings. Family and work conflicts also accounted for a large portion of the sleep issues the team encountered. Workers with children under the age of three were more than twice as likely to report poor sleep than those without children or with older children.

To arrive at their conclusions, which they presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, researchers examined data from two large sleep surveys that provided information about the same group of workers over the course of a decade. About half of all respondents reported some problems sleeping.

"Massive changes over the past half-century have reshaped the workplace, with major implications for sleep," Researcher Sarah Burgard said in a release. "For many workers, psychological stress has replaced physical hazards.

"Physical strain at work tends to create physical fatigue and leads to restorative sleep, but psychological strain has the opposite effect, making it more difficult for people to sleep."

This research may not do much to help night-shift workers or those stressing about losing their jobs sleep better, but what it does show is that these factors may not be nearly as damaging as previously thought to healthy sleep. Instead, it's the smaller, sometimes more inconspicuous stresses that can have a greater effect on our sleep. What isn't entirely clear from the information presented here, is whether these sleep difficulties may not be related to underlying mental health problems that cause both the work and sleep issues. While the researchers did their best to isolate sleep issues that arose from work stress, it's unclear whether this initial stress could have resulted from poor stress response or inappropriate handling of work situations. One thing that does seem clear, is that when we have disturbed sleep, our work experiences and the way they interact with our home lives, are some of the first things that should be examined.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy