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People who feel supported at work sleep better, study shows


Photo: Mindful Media/iStockphoto

Stockholm — Having supportive co-workers and supervisors could help your chances of getting a good night’s rest, a team of Scandinavian-based researchers says.

The researchers examined data from nearly 115,000 participants in the Work Environment and Health in Denmark study, Finnish Public Sector Study, and Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. The participants were asked about their workplace environment – including factors such as leaders’ ability to listen, perceived fairness, co-worker support and collaboration – and followed for up to six years.

The participants who reported favorable psychological and social support at work had a lower risk of sleep disturbances.

Within two years, 53% of the participants reported a change in workplace environment. Positive changes were linked to a reduced risk of sleep disturbances such as falling and staying asleep, poor-quality sleep, and experiencing daytime tiredness for the past one to three months.

Negative changes in the work environment, meanwhile, were tied to an increase in sleep problems.

“These findings suggest that multilevel workplace interventions are essential to promote short- and long-term sleep quality among workers,” the researchers write.

The study was published online in JAMA Network Open.

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