Work Stress Keeping You Up At Night? This Could Be Why
Negative changes in leadership and fairness were associated with the greatest long-term impact on sleep.
Struggling to sleep properly because of work stress? The problem may not be your work but in fact, who you work with,a new study has found
The study analysed data on 115,000 participants in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, the Work Environment and Health in Denmark Study, and the Finnish Public Sector Study, who were followed for up to six years.
Changes In Leadership Can Cause Changes In Sleep Quality
In the study, researchers looked at “top down” resources from leadership such as appreciation, being good listeners and procedural justice (the perception of fairness in the workplace) and “horizontal” resources such as support from coworkers, and a culture of collaboration in the workplace.
The researchers defined collaboration as working closely with others to achieve the best possible results and to develop and apply new ideas.
They also looked at sleep problems and defined these as troubles initiating or maintaining sleep, poor-quality sleep and daytime tiredness two to four times a week that lasted one to three months. Factors such as age and pre-existing health conditions were factored out.
Within a two-year time frame, 53% of the participants reported changes in their workplace environments. If the changes were positive in either of the two categories – such as leadership and fairness or coworker collaboration – the odds of sleep issues persisting declined. In fact, the biggest decline noted was in a person who saw improvements in all four areas at the workplace.
However, the news isn’t all good. One in four people in the study with a poorer work environment had more trouble getting enough rest. Negative changes in leadership and fairness were associated with the greatest long-term impact on sleep, more so than negative coworker collaboration or relationship issues.
How To Improve Sleep
Of course, fixing workplace problems and sleep problems can’t happen overnight but according to the NHS, there are things you can do to help yourself get a more restful sleep:
Go to bed when you feel tired and get up at roughly the same time every day.
Sleep in a dark, quiet, and cool room for a “restful environment”
Exercise more throughout the day.
If you can’t sleep and are lying awake, get up and do something and go back to bed when you’re feeling sleepy again.
Write down your worries to be tackled in the morning.
Cut down on alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime.