Job stress makes almost 50% of employees lose sleep: study

Tired/Sleeping Businessman - nyul/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Sleeplessness is a problem for some business people. (nyul/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Being unable to sleep because of job stressors appears to be quite prevalent, with more than 4 in 10 professionals (44%) being affected, a survey says. Common causes of sleeplessness include an overwhelming workload, a looming business problem and strained co-worker relationships, says the report by Accountemps.

Workers were asked, "How often do you lose sleep over work?" Their responses:

  • Very often: 15%
  • Somewhat often: 29%
  • Not very often: 43%
  • Never: 13%

Among those who lose sleep over work, the following were cited as the root causes:

  • Overwhelmed with work volume/hours: 50%
  • Can’t get a business problem out of my head: 48%
  • Strained co-worker relationships: 20%
  • My boss is a nightmare: 16%


  • Male respondents say they lie awake often (50%), while women are slightly less likely to (40%).
  • Professionals ages 18 to 34 more often lose sleep over work (57%) compared to those ages 35 to 54 (45%) and 55 and older (29%).
  • Professionals in Miami, Nashville and New York lose sleep over work-related issues most often.
  • Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minneapolis have the highest percentage of respondents who stated they never miss out on rest.

"If you have too much on your plate, schedule time with your manager to discuss possible solutions to alleviate the pressure, such as delegating work to others, adjusting deadlines or bringing in temporary help," said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, in a release about the report. “Employee stress can lead to lower job satisfaction and engagement and higher turnover. Managers can support their teams by maintaining open lines of communication and planning regular check-ins to discuss workload and other worries."

“I’m not surprised by the amount of people losing sleep over problems at the office,” said Jen Faber, CEO of Dr. Jen Faber LLC. “Tuning out workplace stressors is getting harder and harder to do because we’re all so hyperconnected to our devices, even when at home. If left unchecked, these problems can lead to burnout pretty quickly.”

“The thing that keeps me up at night is our mission as an organization, and it’s also the thing that fuels my passion and drive to continue to grow this company,” said Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint. “I feel an immense responsibility that comes with that mission, and the weight of how much we need to educate consumers on it. My goal is to shine a light so consumers can feel confident about what they're putting in and on their bodies. We have come a long way, but there's still a lot to be done, and I never stop thinking about what else we can be doing.”

“What keeps me up is staying ahead of the curve,” said Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts. “For my particular industry, book publishing, it’s evolving incredibly fast. There are approximately 4,500 books published every day. What that means is programs need to change and evolve, because what worked well last year probably won’t work well now. I spend a large amount of my time trying to predict what might change and how we need to evolve to continue to stay on top of our game and serve our customer.”