Job stress and poor sleep quality: Data from an American sample of full-time workers

Hannah K. Knudsen, Lori J. Ducharme, Paul M. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Given the associations between poor quality sleep and health, it is important to consider whether job stressors are related to sleep-related outcomes. Studies from Europe and Japan suggest that these stressors negatively impact sleep, but there are few studies of job stressors and sleep quality that draw upon large representative samples of workers in the USA. Using data collected via telephone interviews from a nationally representative random sample of 1715 American full-time employees, this research considers three dependent variables of past-month poor sleep quality: number of days the respondent had difficulty initiating sleep, number of days of difficulty maintaining sleep, and number of days of non-restorative sleep. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate a count data model of the associations between the frequency of these three types of poor sleep quality and the job stressors of work overload, role conflict, autonomy, and repetitive tasks, while controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. The average American worker reported 5.3 days of difficulty falling asleep, 6.6 days of trouble staying asleep, and 5.0 days of trouble waking up for work in the past month. Across the three types of poor sleep quality, work overload was positively associated with the frequency of poor sleep quality. Role conflict was positively associated with difficulty initiating sleep and non-restorative sleep. Repetitive tasks were associated with more days of difficulty initiating sleep and maintaining sleep. Job autonomy was negatively associated with non-restorative sleep. Given that sleep quality is associated with other health outcomes, future research should continue to explore the associations between job-related stressors, sleep quality, and workers' health status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2007
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge research support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA07417).


  • Employment
  • Full-time workers
  • Job stress
  • Sleep
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Job stress and poor sleep quality: Data from an American sample of full-time workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this