Worker Health and Wellness

Study of nurses shows mindfulness can curb stress and improve sleep

Photo: Michal Krakowiak/gettyimages

Tampa, FL — Practicing mindfulness each day may help reduce workers’ stress and limit negative thinking on the job.

Researchers at the University of South Florida drew that conclusion after surveying 144 nurses about work-related stress and sleep habits.

The researchers focused on nurses because of “their long, irregular hours and high-stress work environment, which often lead to sleep problems that can affect not only their health, but patient safety,” a USF press release states.

Findings show that regular mindfulness exercises that focus on stress reduction – such as yoga, meditation, tai chi and therapy – help workers with stress management, improving their sleep quality and overall well-being.

Claire Smith, lead study author and an assistant professor of psychology at USF, offered an example.

“If you got a negative performance review at work, you might choose to shift your focus from negative thoughts of how you have failed and are incompetent to positive thoughts of what you did right and how you can grow,” Smith said.

She added: “We hope future research on mindfulness looks at not just big-picture results like better sleep or productivity, but also how it affects things like handling emotions.”

The study was published online in the journal Health Psychology.

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