It is a well-known fact that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. However, nowadays sleep disorders are becoming increasingly common. As a consequence, employees zone out during important meetings and crank out work of lower quality.
The modern round-the-clock lifestyles, in addition to caffeine, alcohol, lack of exercise, stress and a myriad of other factors, have conditioned employees’ bodies to stay awake. Employees need to get enough sleep to handle the stresses of their jobs better and have a more positive outlook towards work, new research points out. Employers should help their staff with sleep issues to improve company’s productivity.
According to an article, the research by psychological scientists from Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute included analysing data from almost 4,827 working adults. Data was collected from 2,655 female and 2,171 male participants, who were all gainfully-employed for the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH).
Individuals were asked about their sleeping habits, including information on the frequency of their troubled sleep, restless sleep, repeated awakenings and premature awakenings. They were also asked questions that measured their control at work, social support and work demands. The questionnaires were completed in 2008 and then in 2010.
According to the research, the sleep deprived workers showed a higher perception of stress, higher work demands, a lower degree of control, and less social support at work than their counterparts who got a good night’s rest. These individuals also reported more pessimistic outlooks about their work. The results also illustrated that though sleep deprivation can increase stress at the workplace, the link is a two-way street.
“Interventions to improve sleep may be important in reducing stress and negative views of work, and perhaps life in general,” the research team writes in the journal Sleep.
The two-year follow-up data showed an apparent connection between disturbed sleep and stress at work. Similarly, those participants with stressful work environments in the survey conducted in 2008 mostly showed a reduction in healthy sleep in the 2010 follow-up data.
“It is also a common observation that sleep loss causes sleepiness/fatigue and impaired performance, and these may in turn lead to demands at work being seen as more difficult to handle than would otherwise be the case,” the researchers said.
Thus, the results implicated promoting sound sleep may improve work quality by reducing perceived job stress and minimizing negative attitudes toward work.
Another study at University of Michigan discovered that taking a nap at work may be an effective approach to improve productivity at work and to enhance tolerance for frustration. Researchers also say naps could be an easy and cost-efficient way for employers to boost workplace safety.
“Napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time, by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks,” said doctoral student Jennifer Goldschmied.
A good night’s sleep has immediate effects on employees’ productivity, and, best of all, it can even help maintain the other resolutions. Sound sleeping makes it easier to accomplish goals and excel.
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