While it’s long been noted that a lack of sleep affects the way workers work, leading to, among other things, a greater risk of error and injuries, new research is now looking at the issue from the other side: how work itself may be affecting the way we sleep.
A confusing cycle? Possibly, but according to Senior Researcher Mikko Harma of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finns have reported an increase in sleeping disorders over the past 30 years. Most recently, a study found that 36 percent of women in that country had trouble sleeping at least once a week; 27 percent of men in the study said the same. But, just six years ago, only 26 percent of women and 20 percent of men reported sleep problems once a week.
The reason for the reported sleeping problems? Said Harma, both occupational stress and abnormal working hours are taking their toll on workers. To solve the problem, Harma noted that he’d like to see more emphasis placed on educating people about the importance sleep and recovery, a focus on par with existing programs that stress nutrition and exercise or the effects of smoking and alcohol.
“In national health matters, sleep and recovery should be included with illness prevention as part of a daily routine,” Harma said. He also noted that preventing work-related sleeping disorders will mean resolving time management and occupational measurement problems. That includes addressing the impact of the 24-hour workplace on workers, including associated workplace ergonomics.
Source: Medical News Today