According to a new research, reducing conflicts between work and family helps people sleep better.
Dr. Ryan Olson, assistant professor at the Oregon Health & Science University and the lead author of the study, said, “Increasing family-supportive supervision and employee control over work time benefited the sleep of hundreds of employees, and even greater effects may be possible if sleep is overtly addressed in workplace interventions.”
According to the researchers, work-family conflict occurs when the demands placed upon an individual, both at work and at home, make it difficult for the individual to successfully fulfill the duties of either role.
“The Work, Family, and Health Network Study intervention was designed to reduce work-family conflict. It did not directly address sleep, yet sleep benefits were observed,” added Olson.
For the study, the researchers analyzed 474 workers in a 3-month intervention involving randomly selected managers and employees of an information technology company. The team collected data through interviews with the participants after the intervention had begun and through measuring sleep quality and duration. The researchers also measured the sleep quantity and quality of the participants at the beginning of the intervention and again a year afterwards.
Prior to the study, the researchers had predicted that the participants would experience improvements to their sleep duration and any symptoms of insomnia, when work-family conflict would be reduced.
After going through the results, the researchers found that insomnia symptoms did not improve. However, the team found that those participating in the work-family conflict-resolving intervention reported greater sleep sufficiency and slept on average one hour more each week than individuals that did not take part in the intervention.
Dr. Lauren Hale, editor-in-chief of Sleep Health journal, said, “This study demonstrates that interventions unrelated to sleep can improve sleep in the population. Furthermore, these findings serve as a reminder that there are opportunities to deploy innovative interventions to improve sleep.”
The findings were published in the Sleep Health journal.