Long days at work and loads of tasks and assignments are bound to leave us stressed in our careers. However, it’s not only the 9-5 hours of constant work that leave us wanting to rip our hair out and struggle to calm our minds before bedtime.
Rookie managers have now been added to the list of things that make Americans stressed, leaving 20 percent of workers struggling to sleep at night.
A poll conducted by Harris Research in June, published by Oji Life Labs, looked further into how managers are affecting the physical and mental health of their workers.
The polls revealed that 2,066 adults were not happy with their current work situation. Forty two percent of the participants said they work under a newly hired manager with barely any training. Forty one percent also said they feel more stress and anxiety because of their manager. Finally, 40 percent said they lost confidence in their work and were considering quitting.
One in five of the workers claimed they couldn’t sleep at night due to the anxiety provoking situations at work. Everyone should have a job they enjoy going to everyday and going home stress-free.
We wanted to know how a stressful work environment can truly impact sleep, so we decided to speak with some experts. Are you working under a manager that you’re losing sleep over? Here’s why it’s giving you anxiety at night, and how you can get your sleep health back on track if you’re living under these circumstances.
An Expert Weighs In
Even though we experience most of our stress at work, that doesn’t just disappear once we head home. The pressures from our bosses and a busy schedule loom through our brains, making it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night.
Clinical Sleep Health Educator, registered sleep technologist, and owner of Delta Sleep Coaching, Cali Bahrenfuss, said that worries from work carry into our sleep because of our inability to turn off those thoughts before we hit the sack. She said that when we consistently experience stressful events at work, eventually we will begin to associate bedtime with stress and anxiety.
“This can lead to a negative association around the bed or sleep, and ultimately make the situation worse,” she told Sleepopolis. “Once the bedtime or the bed itself becomes a trigger for anxiety and/or stress, it can be hard to undo.”
So, you might be wondering what’s the solution now if you are stuck with that inexperienced manager. Bahrenfuss offered some advice on how to start practicing better sleep hygiene each night before bedtime.
“Good sleep hygiene includes making the bedroom as comfortable as possible for sleep, and making sure the bed is used for sleep and intimacy only,” she said. “Electronics should be limited 30-60 minutes before bedtime, and replaced with relaxing and stress relieving activities, like deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation or other techniques that help to relax the body and the mind.”
Along with practicing sleep-promoting activities before bed, Bahrenfuss said one should completely remove themselves from work mode once they get off at 5 p.m. or later. This includes taking part in other activities, such as going on a 20-minute walk or doing an intense HIIT workout to blow off some steam.
She also recommended journaling, which could help get all those intrusive thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
“It allows one to get their thoughts out of their system, and can even allow for some creative problem-solving as those thoughts come out,” she said. “After writing down the worries and stressors of the day, closing the journal can be a reminder to leave those thoughts and worries behind for the rest of the day.”
With this advice, it’s now your time to get back on track to focus on yourself to better your mental and sleep health. Remember, your work can wait but your health can’t.
Bahrenfuss, Cali. Personal Interview. July 21, 2024.