After dealing with nasty co-workers or a rude boss all day, try doing something to unwind. It can help you sleep better, a new study suggests.

“Sleep quality is crucial because sleep plays a major role in how employees perform and behave at work,” said study lead author Caitlin Demsky, of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

“In our fast-paced, competitive professional world, it is more important than ever that workers are in the best condition to succeed, and getting a good night’s sleep is key to that,” she added.

For the study, Demsky and her colleagues surveyed about 700 U.S. Forest Service employees. The survey showed that being subjected to negative behavior at work — such as being judged or verbally abused — was associated with more symptoms of insomnia, including waking up many times during the night.

However, the researchers noted that workers who faced rudeness or abuse at work but did something relaxing to recover after work had a better night’s sleep.

Yoga, listening to music or going for a walk were among the beneficial activities, the study authors said.

“Incivility in the workplace takes a toll on sleep quality,” Demsky said in a news release from the American Psychological Association.

“It does so in part by making people repeatedly think about their negative work experiences,” she explained. “Those who can take mental breaks from this fare better and do not lose as much sleep as those who are less capable of letting go.”

Over the long term, negative feelings about your job may relate to health problems, including fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease, the study authors said.



More information

The report was published April 23 in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine outlines healthy sleep habits.

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