Nav: Home

A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep -- and your partner's, new PSU study finds

December 14, 2018

Rudeness. Sarcastic comments. Demeaning language. Interrupting or talking over someone in a meeting. Workplace incivilities such as these are becoming increasingly common, and a new study from Portland State University and University of Illinois researchers found this behavior has the potential to not only negatively affect an employee's sleep but their partner's as well.

The study, recently published in the journal Occupational Health Science, builds on previous research by examining the relationship between workplace incivility -- a common stressful work event -- and employee sleep in the context of dual-earner couples. The researchers surveyed 305 couples in a variety of jobs.

Charlotte Fritz, the lead author of the study and associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology in PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said when one spouse experiences workplace incivility, they tend to ruminate more about work at home and report insomnia symptoms whether it's trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. But the study went a step further examining sleep problems in the employee's spouse and found their sleep is also affected -- but only if the couple works in the same company or occupation.

"Because work-linked couples have a better idea of what's going on in each other's work, they can be better supporters," Fritz said. "They probably know more about the context of the incivil act and might be more pulled into the venting or problem-solving process."

Fritz recommends that organizations do everything in their power to create a culture of civility by imposing zero-tolerance policies or offering civility training. But given that workplace incivilities aren't completely avoidable, Fritz also suggests a number of strategies to help employees cope, including mentally detaching from work during non-work hours by spending time with family and friends or enjoying hobbies, and practicing meditation at work and home.

The same is true of the employee's spouse.

"Not talking about work or not supporting your spouse is not the solution," Fritz said. "They can talk about work, vent about it, discuss it, but then they should make an explicit attempt to unwind together and create good conditions for sleep."
-end-
The study's other authors were Brittnie Shepherd, a PSU doctoral student, and YoungAh Park, an assistant professor in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Labor and Employment Relations.

Portland State University

Related Sleep Articles:

'Short sleep' gene prevents memory deficits associated with sleep deprivation
The UCSF scientists who identified the two known human genes that promote 'natural short sleep' -- nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours but leaves people feeling well-rested -- have now discovered a third, and it's also the first gene that's ever been shown to prevent the memory deficits that normally accompany sleep deprivation.
Short sleep duration and sleep variability blunt weight loss
High sleep variability and short sleep duration are associated with difficulties in losing weight and body fat.
Nurses have an increased risk of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
According to preliminary results of a new study, there is a high prevalence of insufficient sleep and symptoms of common sleep disorders among medical center nurses.
Opioids are not sleep aids, and can actually worsen sleep research finds
Evidence that taking opioids will help people with chronic pain to sleep better is limited and of poor quality, according to an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and medics from the University of Warwick in partnership with Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland.
Common sleep myths compromise good sleep and health
People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.
Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping?
Does extra sleep on the weekends repay your sleep debt? No, researchers say
Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders put people at increased risk for metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes.
Kicking, yelling during sleep? Study finds risk factors for violent sleep disorder
Taking antidepressants for depression, having post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety diagnosed by a doctor are risk factors for a disruptive and sometimes violent sleep disorder called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, according to a study published in the Dec.
Sleep health and yoga intervention delivered in low-income communities improves sleep
Pilot study results indicate that a sleep and yoga intervention has promising effects on improving sleep disturbance, sleep-related impairment, and sleep health behaviors.
Can weekend sleep make up for the detriments of sleep deprivation during the week?
In a recent Journal of Sleep Research study, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased risk of early death in individuals under 65 years of age.
More Sleep News and Sleep Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.