Study reveals the work issues people lose the most sleep over

Work-related insomnia hurts you and your company.

By Jane Burnett

New research from specialized staffing service Accountemps shows that among employees who stay up worrying about work, the feeling of being “overwhelmed with work volume/hours” topped the list with 50% of respondents saying it kept them up at night. That was closely followed by “can’t get a business problem out of my head” a close second at 48%.

An independent research firm surveyed 2,800 employees “in 28 major U.S. cities.” Here are some of the key findings.

Nearly half can’t get a good night’s rest because of their jobs

While the research found that 44% of employees “lose sleep over work” either “very often” or “somewhat often,” 43% said this doesn’t happen to them very frequently and only 13% said it “never” does.

When asked if they lose sleep over work, 51% of people over the age of 55 replied with “not very often,” the most in any age category. Only 8% percent of those 18-34, 12% in the 35-54 age group and 21% of those 55 and older said that they never find themselves in a situation where thinking about work cost them sleep.

Other problems that kept workers up at night were “strained coworker relationships” (20%), “worried I may lose my job” (18%), and “my boss is a nightmare” (16%). Respondents were able to pick more than one choice.

Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, commented on the research in a statement:

“Work stressors can often follow you home, but try to check them at the door … If you have too much on your plate, schedule time with your manager to discuss possible solutions to alleviate the pressure, such as delegating work to others, adjusting deadlines or bringing in temporary help,” he said. “Employee stress can lead to lower job satisfaction and engagement and higher turnover. Managers can support their teams by maintaining open lines of communication and planning regular check-ins to discuss workload and other worries.”

People lose the most sleep over work in these cities

The research found that while Miami finished first for the most “sleeplessness” among workers (65%), Nashville and New York weren’t far behind, at 59% and 55%, respectively.

Other cities filling out the top spots were Chicago and San Francisco (54% each), Cincinnati and Phoenix (51% each), Houston (50%), Austin (49%) and Dallas (47%).

And where are employees less likely to stay up worrying about work? San Diego (36%), Pittsburgh (35%), Washington, D.C. (34%), Cleveland (27%) and Minneapolis (24%), rounded out the bottom five.

People stay up worrying for a variety of reasons, but for a lot of us, it’s because of work.

Originally published at

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