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Work & Sleep: A Hard Day’s Night

Filed in
  • stress

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Sep 07, 2009
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A new study shows that your job may be affecting how you sleep.

The Dutch study involved 1,163 employees. Sleep quality and fatigue were measured across a one-year time lag.

Results show that exposure to a high-strain work environment was associated with elevated levels of sleep complaints. In contrast, people with a low-strain job had the highest sleep quality; they also had the lowest level of fatigue.

The study supports the Demand/Control Model proposed by Karasek and Theorell. This model suggests that high-strain jobs can have a negative effect on both mental and physical health; job strain can cause fatigue, anxiety, depression and physical illness.

A high-strain job is psychologically demanding. It also restricts your “decision latitude;” this refers to the authority you have to make decisions and use all of your skills.

Last week the Sleep Education Blog reported that workplace bullying increases the risk of disturbed sleep. The study measured 45 forms of bullying such as verbal aggression, criticism, gossiping and threats of physical violence.

In April the Sleep Education Blog reported that female executives may be more prone to sleep problems than male executives. The risk is greatest for women who have isolated, demanding jobs.

How can you prevent job stress from disturbing your sleep? One way is to avoid “bedwork.” Never bring any work to bed with you; instead you should make your bed a refuge from your job.