For this study, researchers wanted to assess how different kinds of stress impacted the sleep of older adults who were approaching retirement. The first study consisted of over 2,700 adults, and looked at factors like physical and mental working conditions, stressful life events, and work-life balance.
An additional population study of nearly 4,000 people found that over half of Finnish men in their 60’s and 70% of women had reported sleeping difficulties within the past month.
Taking the results of both studies, the researchers were able to distinguish four different factors or components associated with stress: physical workload and shift work, psychosocial workload, social and environmental non-work adversity, and life event and/or health-related non-work adversity.
As professor of psychology and study co-author, Marianna Virtanen Ph.D. explains in a news release, “The more an employee had work and non-work stressors, the more problems they also had with sleep.”
The researchers also note that different kinds of stress impact sleep in different ways. Work-related stress, for instance, was linked to ongoing sleep problems, whereas non-work related stress predicted more sleep problems moving forward. Working conditions were also associated with sleep quality, and you guessed it—poorer conditions meant poorer sleep.