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Workplace bullying is associated with sleep disturbances
Date:9/1/2009

Westchester, Ill. A study in the Sept.1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that current or past exposure to workplace bullying is associated with increased sleep disturbances. Associations also were found between observed bullying and sleep disruption, indicating that bullying has detrimental effects even when it is experienced indirectly.

The study shows a high prevalence of workplace bullying, with 11 percent of women and nine percent of men experiencing "hostile behavior" in the work environment at least weekly and for at least six months during the previous 12 months. After adjustment for covariates such as age, occupation, weekly work hours and depressive symptoms, exposure to bullying was significantly associated with self-reported sleep disturbances. The adjusted odds ratio of having disturbed sleep was more than two times higher in men who currently were experiencing workplace bullying (OR=2.29) or had been exposed to daily or almost daily bullying (OR=2.39); women were nearly two times more likely to report having sleep disturbances if they had experienced daily or almost daily bullying (OR=1.73) or had been exposed to bullying for more than five years (OR=1.87).

Thirty-two percent of women and 31 percent of men also reported that they had observed bullying in the workplace in the previous 12 months. The adjusted odds ratio of having disturbed sleep was 60 percent higher in men and twenty percent higher in women who only observed bullying, and it was more than two times higher in men (OR=2.38) and nearly two times higher in women (OR=1.81) who both observed and experienced bullying. .

Principal investigator Isabelle Niedhammer, PhD, epidemiologist and researcher at the UCD School of Public Health & Population Science at the University College Dublin in Ireland, said that exposure to any form of violence or harassment at the workplace may strongly increase the risk of having sleep disturbances.

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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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