Falling asleep may seem like an impossible dream when you’re awake at 3 a.m., but good sleep is more under your control than you might think.
New research suggests that a good night’s sleep can serve as a protecting factor between job stress and unhealthy eating in the evening.
“We found that employees who have a stressful workday tend to bring their negative feelings from the workplace to the dinner table, as manifested in eating more than usual and opting for more junk food instead of healthy food,” said study co-author Chu-Hsiang Chang, Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University in the US.
The research, published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology, involved two studies of 235 workers in China. One study dealt with information technology employees who regularly experienced high workload and felt there was never enough time in the workday. The second study involved call-centre workers who often got stressed from having to deal with rude and demanding customers.
In both cases, workday stress was linked to employees’ negative mood while on the job, which in turn was linked to unhealthy eating in the evening, study co-author Yihao Liu, said Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois.