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Can speaking up at work affect how well you sleep?


Photo: AzmanJaka/iStockphoto

San Antonio — How employees choose to voice their thoughts and/or opinions at work – either positively or negatively – may affect their quality of sleep, results of a recent study show.

Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio surveyed 113 full-time workers twice a day – in the morning and evening – over a 10-day period to find out if speaking up at work affects sleep quality, and whether sleep quality affects expression of voice the next workday.

Findings show that when the workers expressed a “promotive” voice, or communicating in a way that promotes affirmative ideas and changes, they were more likely to experience increased positive effects at the end of the workday, were able to detach from work in the evening and subsequently experienced less insomnia at night.

On the other hand, expressing a “prohibitive” voice – such as sharing less constructive feedback and ideas, which can make an employee appear negative – had the opposite effect.

In addition, the researchers found that workers who experienced insomnia were less likely to be in a positive state of mind the following day.

“We spend so much time at work that there has to be some connection between what happens at work and how we sleep at night,” Dina Krasikova, an associate professor of management at UTSA, said in a press release. “If we know what workplace factors are related to employee sleep quality, we can work on improving those factors in an effort to help employees sleep better at night.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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