The importance of sleep: Relationships between sleep quality and work demands, the prioritization of sleep and pre-sleep arousal in day-time employees

Marisa Loft, Linda D Cameron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Sleep deprivation is an often hidden problem in working adults. In this study, we evaluated self-regulation processes contributing to poor sleep patterns of full-time office employees. We investigated whether work-related demands and prioritizing sleep (in relation to other activities) predicted sleep behaviours over an 11-day period. Seventy-three adults in New Zealand completed online measures, including the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, a measure of sleep prioritization, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Mixed-model analyses of daily data revealed that higher sleep prioritization and positive work-related emotions during a workday predicted better sleep quality that night. Cognitive demands on a workday predicted a later bedtime that night, whereas emotional demands predicted an earlier bedtime (but also an earlier waking time). Regression analyses revealed that when controlling for baseline levels of each dependent measure, pre-sleep arousal predicted fewer hours of sleep and greater sleep difficulty whereas sleep prioritization predicted a faster time getting to sleep, longer sleep and less sleep difficulty. High priority for sleep and positive emotions at work may promote sleep quality, whereas cognitive and emotional demands, or pre-sleep arousal may disrupt sleep patterns. These findings point to sleep prioritization and cognitive-emotional self-regulation skills as potential targets for work-based interventions aimed at promoting sleep.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289 - 304
    Number of pages16
    JournalWork and Stress
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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