Better Work-Family Balance Improves Sleep

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An intervention that helped employees reduce conflict between work and home life improved sleep duration and quality, according to a study published in Sleep Health.

The intervention included both managers and employees and consisted of facilitated discussions, role-playing, and games; it did not directly focus on sleep but instead focused on improving work-family balance. Managers were also trained in family supportive supervision.

A previous study indicated that higher levels of work-family conflict increased sleep deficiency. The researchers in this study sought to build on those findings by studying whether improved work-family balance also improved sleep.

The study included managers and employees of an information technology company. A total of 474 participants were randomly selected to take part in the 3-month intervention program.

The researchers interviewed each participant 1 year after the intervention had started and monitored their sleep quality and duration during that time. Their results were compared with a control group who did not participate in the intervention.

Workers who participated in the intervention had improved sleep quality and slept an average of 1 hour more per week compared with controls. However, the results did not indicate any improvement in insomnia symptoms among those who participated in the intervention.

Although the results are encouraging, the researchers note that their study is limited by its basis on data from only two different dates.

Employees with improved work-family balance had improved sleep quality.
Employees with improved work-family balance had improved sleep quality.

Workers taking part in an intervention to reduce conflict between responsibilities at home and in the workplace experienced improved sleep duration and sufficiency, according to a new study published in Sleep Health.

"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," says lead author Dr. Ryan Olson of Oregon Health & Science University.

The intervention consisted of facilitated discussions, role-playing and games for both managers and employees. Managers received additional training in family supportive supervision and had to monitor how well they applied this training when working.

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