Sleep Loss From Work-Related Stress

In a survey conducted by finance staffing firm Accountemps, respondents cited overwhelming workloads, lingering business problems and strained relationships with co-workers as the leading reasons for loss of sleep.

Overall, 15 percent of workers said they lost sleep over work “very often,” while 29 percent indicated they lost sleep “somewhat often.”

Other findings:

  • 57 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 reported losing sleep, compared with 45 percent of workers ages 35 to 54 and 29 percent of those 55 and older;
  • Half of men and 40 percent of women reported losing sleep;
  • Respondents in Miami (65 percent); Nashville, TN (59 percent); and New York (55 percent) had the highest rates of sleeplessness among 28 larger cities surveyed, professionals in Washington (34 percent), Cleveland (27 percent), and Minneapolis (24 percent) had the lowest rates.

NIOSH scientists are developing and evaluating tailored training programs for managers and workers in manufacturing, mining, nursing, retail, and trucking to inform them of the importance of sleep and the risks linked to insufficient sleep, shift work, and long work hours and strategies to prevent these risks.

NIOSH has made the following developments in this area:

  • A comprehensive online training program for nurses. The program includes a short video and 12 modules. The training program is currently being pilot tested in senior nursing students and registered nurses enrolled in nursing graduate courses;
  • For the trucking industry, two public service announcements to broadcast over the radio and two brochures to raise awareness of the risks of long work hours and shift work, as well as what actions they can take to help manage their risks. A website for trucking is also under development;
  • For the mining industry, two presentations are in development on shift work and sleep for mining trainers. A helmet sticker has also been developed to help further raise awareness of this issue; and
  • A series of six 30 minute webinars to educate workers and managers in manufacturing and retail about sleep.