What Can You Do to Help Curb Work-Related Stress?

A new study recently published found quite a few health-related issues with people that work long hours. This study found a shocking rise in atrial fibrillation (AF) between employees that worked long hours versus those that had a better work-life balance.  However, a very interesting sidebar in the study mentioned the significant benefits of a good night’s rest on a person’s stress levels.

According to an article written by Dube, the study referenced – done by the University College London – found long hours to increase the risk of AF by 40%.  As if heart-related problems like AF are not scary enough, having AF increases the risk of stroke by three to five-fold.

Specifics of the Study

The study focused on almost 86,000 people from four countries.  These people were split into two catergories – regular work hours (35 to 40 hours per week) and higher than usual work hours (55 hours).  “None of the participants had AF before the study” Dube notes.  This study lasted for ten years, and tracked who ended up with AF.  Though the results are telling, the researchers only asked about number of hours worked at the beginning of the study – which means they were not aware of any changes in work schedules during that 10-year period.  There was also no research into job type/category that could have affected the outcomes.



“An average of 12.4 per 1,000 people had developed AF.  However, among the participants who worked 55 hours or more, that figure rose to 17.6 per 1,000 people.”

Though this particular study is interesting in relation to atrial fibrillation, there have been many other studies done showing the negative health outcomes of stress on a person.  Heart disease and stroke are significant concerns to have, however there is one simple consideration that can help.

Stress and Sleep

It should come as no surprise that sleep is a very easy and natural remedy to what ails a person.  Dube’s article references Michigan State University researchers that say “Stress at work can also impact sleep and prompt people to overeat and make unhealthy eating choices.”  Though stress can be a catalyst for poor sleep, it also demands a consistent solution for the effects of stress.  The more stressed a person is, the more they need sleep.  One of the authors of the Michigan State study said “another key finding shows how sleep helped people deal with their stressful eating at work.  When workers slept better the night before, they tended to eat better when they experienced stress the next day.”

Sleep can help a person make better eating decisions under stress, but it is also a crucial part of our daily process. Sleep is not something to overlook, or discuss proudly as something that is regularly missing in daily life.  If you are having trouble sleeping

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