Swedish psychologists, Psychological Science reported, found a link between sleeping poorly and feeling stressed at work. Researchers published their findings in the journal Sleep.
For the study, almost 5,000 Swedes filled out a questionnaire about their sleep habits and work lives. Participants (employed adults working in a variety of industries) assessed their success with falling and staying asleep. With respect to work, they answered questions about job demands, feelings of support and sense of professional control. Participants completed the surveys twice, in 2008 and again in 2010.
Those who described poor sleeping habits in the first survey perceived work as more stressful than better-rested worker bees. Also, participants who, in 2008, described more stressful work environments subsequently reported downgraded sleep habits when they repeated the survey two years later. The link persisted after researchers took into account objective occupational differences, including work schedules, hours logged and on-the-job physical demands.
The results suggest a two-way link between sleep habits and perceived occupational stress.
But which comes first — sleepiness or workplace woes? It’s hard to say, but the study authors offered one possible explanation, courtesy of Psychological Science:
“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.”
This study veers into the “no duh” territory — sleep less, be less happy. But work, like sleep, typically accounts for one-third of our lives, so it’s very much a subject worthy of further examination. Despite the ongoing calls for naps at work, we’d rather fix our fatigue issues at home, in our own beds. Let’s keep work and sleep separate, thanks very much.