September 3, 2009

Workplace Bullies Creep Into Sleep

That bully you deal with during the workday may be doing more damage at night.

A cross-sectional survey, taken in the southeast of France suggests a direct correlation between exposures to workplace bullying and sleeps disturbances.  The study shows 11 percent of women and 9 percent of men experience at least weekly "hostile behavior" in the workplace.

Of that same random sample, adjustments were made to weed out co-variants such as age, weekly work hours, depressive symptoms and occupation and found considerable evidence that exposure to bullying is significantly associated with sleep disturbances.

The data also shows 32 percent of women and 31 percent of men who observe bullying in the workplace have increased odds of having disturbed sleep. Chances for disturbances rose 60 percent higher for men and 20 percent higher for women.

"Exposure to any form of violence or harassment at the workplace may strongly increase the risk of having sleep disturbances," principle investigator Isabelle Niedhammer, Ph.D., epidemiologist and researcher at the UCD School of Public Health & Population Science at the University College Dublin in Ireland was quoted as saying.

"Workplace bullying may be considered as one of the leading job stressors and would be a major cause of suicide and other health-related issues. Our study underlines the need to better understand and prevent occupational risk factors, such as bullying, for sleep disorders," said Dr. Niedhammer.

SOURCE: SLEEP, September 1, 2009