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Sleep. 2016 Apr 1;39(4):833-46. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5638.

Effects of Psychological and Social Work Factors on Self-Reported Sleep Disturbance and Difficulties Initiating Sleep.

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Department of Work Psychology and Physiology, The National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway.



This prospective cohort study examined previously underexplored relations between psychological/social work factors and troubled sleep in order to provide practical information about specific, modifiable factors at work.


A comprehensive evaluation of a range of psychological/social work factors was obtained by several designs; i.e., cross-sectional analyses at baseline and follow-up, prospective analyses with baseline predictors (T1), prospective analyses with average exposure across waves as predictor ([T1 + T2] / 2), and prospective analyses with change in exposure from baseline to follow-up as predictor. Participants consisted of a sample of Norwegian employees from a broad spectrum of occupations, who completed a questionnaire at two points in time, approximately two years apart. Cross-sectional analyses at T1 comprised 7,459 participants, cross-sectional analyses at T2 included 6,688 participants. Prospective analyses comprised a sample 5,070 of participants who responded at both T1 and T2. Univariable and multivariable ordinal logistic regressions were performed.


Thirteen psychological/social work factors and two aspects of troubled sleep, namely difficulties initiating sleep and disturbed sleep, were studied. Ordinal logistic regressions revealed statistically significant associations for all psychological and social work factors in at least one of the analyses. Psychological and social work factors predicted sleep problems in the short term as well as the long term.


All work factors investigated showed statistically significant associations with both sleep items, however quantitative job demands, decision control, role conflict, and support from superior were the most robust predictors and may therefore be suitable targets of interventions aimed at improving employee sleep.


longitudinal; occupational; prospective; psychosocial; sleep

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