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Your Rude Colleague Is Costing You Sleep

Topics: Work Culture
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A new study shows that being the target of rude behavior at work is costing you sleep at home.

Ever dwell on a spat you had with a coworker or a dressing down by your boss? Did you rehash the conversation for hours, even after you left work for the day? Did you toss and turn in bed, thinking about the injustice of your situation or imagining what you should have said at the time? If so, you’re not alone. A new study by the American Psychological Association, reported by Science Daily, shows that experiencing rude or negative behavior at work is linked to symptoms of insomnia.

“Incivility in the workplace takes a toll on sleep quality,” said lead author of the study Caitlin Demsky, PhD. “It does so in part by making people repeatedly think about their negative work experiences.”

“Sleep quality is crucial because sleep plays a major role in how employees perform and behave at work,” said Demsky.

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Beyond losing sleep, dwelling on an unpleasant event in your work day may also increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased blood pressure and fatigue, according to the authors.

(It’s worth noting that workers who are unpleasant to their colleagues aren’t doing themselves any favors; they’re more likely to be unhappy.)

The study also found, however, that people who were able to detach from their jobs and do something relaxing after work slept better.

In fact, Demsky suggests that managers can benefit their employees – and their organizations – by setting the good example of not sending work-related emails or messages outside of business hours.

So if you had a bad day at the office, leave work on time, and leave work at work when you’re done for the day; no after-hour emails, no late-night Power Points, no “one more thing(s)”.

In fact, Medical News Today reports that the “pattern of giving into the temptation of staying productive even outside of normal work hours can affect our health for years to come.”

Instead, get some exercise, meet up with a friend, go for a walk, or listen to some relaxing music – whatever you do to relax and unwind. It’ll make you a better employee, and you’ll also find it’s easier to catch up on your sleep.


Ever found it hard to move on from a bad day at work? What did you find made you feel better? We want to hear about it! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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I have been tortured by manager . He always send things to do something now and then after work. If I leave on time for work hours , then he will call to say something always. And text me sometime irrelevant work. When I started diobeying him , he put a big drama and fired me telling my performance is not good without even any compensation for all extra work I did. I now have all his text messages .… Read more »


Any suggestions on how to deal with said rude coworkers? I feel like the whole atmosphere of the workplace changes when this person is at work. It’s not only my thought but most other employees. The management knows about this persons caustic interactions with most people but have yet to do anything about it. Is this considered harassment? A hostile work environment?

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