Non-Demanding Jobs Negatively Affect Sleep | Sip2Sleep®

Non-Demanding Jobs Negatively Affect Sleep

It’s obvious that a highly stressful, demanding job has a high chance of affecting your sleep—but a recent study revealed that jobs that are too easy also negatively impact sleep. Quality of sleep is vital for health, happiness, and productivity (whether at work or at home). Sleep lets our mind and body rest and repair, in turn regulating cognitive and physical function, mood, and memory. Lack of sleep has been tied to a myriad of co-morbidities like diabetes, mental health issues, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. We know why sleep is so important, so now let’s delve deeper into why moderate work demands are ideal for encouraging the best sleep health.
Research from the University of South Florida recently showed that the link between work demands and sleep quality is more complex than previously thought. In the past, it was thought (and shown in studies) that the most demanding jobs lead to difficult sleep. “Moderate” job demands coupled with a sense of control surrounding working conditions are the ideal combination for the best sleep. But what about jobs that are just too easy?

Easy Job Risks

Researchers found that not having enough job demands can be just as disruptive to sleep as having too many. It’s all part of striking a balance. Researchers stress the importance of having control over working conditions. Ultimately, it’s not about how easy or difficult the job is, but about your sense of control. The more control a person has over their work conditions, or the more they perceive they have, the happier they are and the better sleep they get.
It is easy to see why sensing a lack of control would be common in conditions with extremely stressful job demands—but the same can be true of low-demand jobs. Take a look at Office Space for insight into how disposable office workers find themselves in. When you feel like you have little control over the environment you spend most of your days in, that’s not good for your mental health or sleep.

What Research Says About Work and Sleep

According to the researchers, “The previous knowledge that demanding work degrades sleep may be overly simplistic … the findings move beyond the previous narrative that job demands should be minimized as much as possible to protect workers’ health.” The full study can be found in Sleep Health. The researchers are quick to agree that their findings might seem counterintuitive at first, but are adamant that both too many demands and too few can be linked to excessive stress and work disengagement. These are both factors that can disrupt sleep.
Since poor sleep is associated with so many co-morbidities, including early death, it is vital to pinpoint and address issues that lead to poor sleep. This can include job-related demands and sense of control at work. The team says, “Past research suggests you need moderate exposure to stress to perform better. We were motivated by this concept and examined whether sleep health would have a sweet spot with moderate exposure to job demands.”
As part of the study, the team studied data from an earlier study that included almost 3,000 adults. The average age was 48 years and they were evenly split between men and women. Fifty percent of those involved had at least a 4-year college degree. Participants were asked about the intensity of their job, work overload, interruptions, time pressure, and role. They were also asked questions about their sleep regularity, daytime alertness, efficiency, satisfaction/quality, and duration. The researchers found that participants got the best sleep when they were able to give input on their work tasks, learn new things on the job, and make decisions about the work environment.

Work and Sleep

The lead author says, “Based on these findings, it will be important to examine whether and how changes over time in job demands and control are associated with changes in sleep health.” Although it is not possible for everyone to change their work environment, being aware of how your work life impacts your sleep is a good first step. To further improve your sleep, consider an all-natural solution like Sip2Sleep® as part of your nighttime sleep hygiene routine. It’s made with just tart cherry juice extract and Venetron® for an organic means of getting your Zzz.
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