• Journal Article

A workplace intervention improves sleep: Results from the randomized controlled Work, Family, and Health Study

Citation

Olson, R., Crain, T. L., Bodner, T. E., King, R., Hammer, L. B., Klein, L. C., ... Buxton, O. M. (2015). A workplace intervention improves sleep: Results from the randomized controlled Work, Family, and Health Study. Sleep Health, 1(1), 55-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleh.2014.11.003

Abstract

Study objectives
The Work, Family, and Health Network Study tested the hypothesis that a workplace intervention designed to increase family-supportive supervision and employee control over work time improves actigraphic measures of sleep quantity and quality.

Design
Cluster-randomized trial.

Setting
A global information technology firm.

Participants
US employees at an information technology firm.

Interventions
Randomly selected clusters of managers and employees participated in a 3-month, social, and organizational change process intended to reduce work-family conflict. The intervention included interactive sessions with facilitated discussions, role playing, and games. Managers completed training in family-supportive supervision.

Measurements and results
Primary outcomes of total sleep time (sleep duration) and wake after sleep onset (sleep quality) were collected from week-long actigraphy recordings at baseline and 12 months. Secondary outcomes included self-reported sleep insufficiency and insomnia symptoms. Twelve-month interviews were completed by 701 (93% retention), of whom 595 (85%) completed actigraphy. Restricting analyses to participants with ?3 valid days of actigraphy yielded a sample of 473-474 for intervention effectiveness analyses. Actigraphy-measured sleep duration was 8 min/d greater among intervention employees relative to controls (P < .05). Sleep insufficiency was reduced among intervention employees (P = .002). Wake after sleep onset and insomnia symptoms were not different between groups. Path models indicated that increased control over work hours and subsequent reductions in work-family conflict mediated the improvement in sleep sufficiency.

Conclusions
The workplace intervention did not overtly address sleep, yet intervention employees slept 8 min/d more and reported greater sleep sufficiency. Interventions should address environmental and psychosocial causes of sleep deficiency, including workplace factors.