A Good Night's Sleep Can Boost Your Job Satisfaction
If you’ve been feeling grumpy about your job, a lack of sleep may be to blame as much as a demanding boss or annoying coworkers.
In a recent study, researchers in Sweden found that sleep-deprived employees felt as though they had way more demanding workloads, less control over their work and less social support than their well-rested colleagues.
The results suggest that getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for workers to be happy with their jobs, the scientists say.
“Interventions to improve sleep may be important in reducing stress and negative views of work, and perhaps life in general,” according to the researchers in their study, published in the journal Sleep.
In the Swedish study, researchers looked at 4,827 workers, who held a variety of white- and blue-collar jobs and work schedules, from traditional 9-to-5 posts to late-night shifts.
At the start of the study, the researchers asked the participants how often they experienced problems falling asleep, restless sleep, and repeated awakenings at night. They also asked about their sense of control over their workloads, their feelings of social support at work, and the extent of their work demands. The scientists followed up with the same questions two years later.
People who had trouble sleeping tended to see their workplaces as less socially supportive and more demanding—in other words, more stressful—than those who generally slept well, the researchers found. The people with sleeping problems were also more likely to have negative attitudes about their work.
The study findings don’t indicate absolutely that sleep problems cause people to perceive their workplaces as more stressful, but the study does suggest a link. Workers tired due to sleep loss may perceive their work environment as worse than it really is, the scientists posit.
In addition, the research team found that people who reported working in a stressful environment at the start of the study also experienced more sleep problems two years later. This result suggests that work-related stress may lead to sleep problems. In fact, any kind of stress tends to go hand in hand with sleep problems, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
The connection between work stress and sleep problems held even after the Swedish researchers accounted for work schedules, long hours at the office, and the physical demands of a job.
The findings imply that both individual employees and organizations may benefit from promoting better sleep. By making sure that employees get as much sleep as they need, companies can help workers feel satisfied with their jobs and improve their long-term performance.
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