The Relationship Between Leadership Support and Employee Sleep

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Journal of Occupational Health Psychology

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Sleep is critical to employees’ health and well-being, safety, and performance at work. Sleep leadership refers to supervisor behaviors that aim to improve employees’ sleep, such as showing concern for the quantity and quality of employees’ sleep. Using a sample of 180 employees and their 91 supervisors working as full-time National Guard military service members, we examined the relationship of sleep leadership and family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB) to employees’ sleep. As outcomes we measured objective sleep quality and quantity using validated wrist actigraphy methods, as well as self-reported sleep hygiene, subjective sleep quantity, and subjective sleep quality (sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment). As a novel contribution to the literature, we included both supervisors’ self-reports and employees’ reports of supervisors’ engagement in sleep leadership and FSSB. Contradicting our hypotheses, our results show that higher employee ratings of FSSB were related to shorter objective sleep time. Regarding self-reported sleep outcomes, higher employees’ ratings of sleep leadership were associated with less sleep disturbance and less sleep-related impairment among employees. Higher supervisors’ self-ratings of FSSB, in turn, were related to better sleep hygiene and less sleep-related impairment among employees. Overall, our study demonstrates the importance of supportive supervisor behaviors for employees’ sleep quality. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


© 2020 American Psychological Association.

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