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Impact of Nighttime Awakenings on Worker Productivity and Performance

Zammit, Gary K. PhD; Joish, Vijay N. PhD; Kong, Meg C. MS; Balkrishnan, Rajesh PhD; Lerner, Debra PhD; Rosekind, Mark PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 513-518
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d8db23
Original Articles

Objective: To describe the relationship between nighttime awakenings and work performance.

Methods: Employees (N = 4188) at four US companies described their sleep patterns and completed the Work Limitations Questionnaire. Participants were categorized by number of nighttime awakenings: 0 (n = 464; 11%), 1 to 2 (n = 2373; 58%), 3 to 4 (n = 984; 24%), or ≥5 (n = 289; 7%). Work Limitations Questionnaire performance and productivity measures were compared among the groups using a one-way analysis of variance model.

Results: Thirty-one percent of the sample averaged ≥3 nighttime awakenings. Compared with respondents with fewer nighttime awakenings, these respondents had the greatest work performance and productivity impairments across a wide range of dimensions.

Conclusions: Workers who experienced ≥3 nighttime awakenings have poorer work productivity and performance than do workers who experience fewer awakenings.

From Clinilabs Inc (Dr Zammit), New York, NY; sanofi-aventis (Dr Joish), Bridgewater, NJ; Division of Pharmaceutical Administration (Ms Kong) and Colleges of Pharmacy and Public Health (Dr Balkrishan), Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Tufts–New England Medical Center (Dr Lerner), Boston, Mass; and Alertness Solutions (Dr Rosekind), Cupertino, Calif.

Address correspondence to: Gary Zammit, PhD, Clinilabs Inc, 1090 Amsterdam Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10025; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine