Poor sleep increases risk of sending rude business emails in the morning, study shows

You are not yourself when you are tired! Poor sleep increases the risk of sending rude business emails in the morning, research shows

  • Study shows fatigue is linked to ‘cyber unkindness’ – rudeness in emails
  • After a shorter night’s sleep, employees had more self-regulated fatigue
  • Examples of cyber rudeness included ‘ignoring a request to schedule an appointment that someone made via email’ and ‘making degrading or derogatory comments’

From bags under the eyes to headaches, many of us suffer from the side effects of not getting a good night’s sleep.

Now, a study has found that poor sleep can also increase your risk of firing off grumpy work emails in the morning.

The research finds that fatigue is linked to “cyber unkindness” – rudeness or impoliteness in emails or text messages.

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A study has shown that poor sleep can increase your risk of firing off grumpy work emails in the morning (stock image)

RECOMMENDED SLEEP DURATION

toddler (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

School age (6-13 years): 9-11 o’clock

Teen (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

young adult (18-25) 7-9 hours

Grown up (26-64): 7-9 hours

Older Adult (65 or more) 7-8 hours

Source: Sleep Foundation

In the study, researchers from West Texas A&M University involved 131 full-time working adults, who completed surveys twice a day for two weeks to measure sleep duration, fatigue and cyber-unfriendliness.

Questionnaires were sent every workday at 7:00 am, including how much sleep they had had the night before.

Every workday at 4:00 PM, another questionnaire was sent that measured how tired they were and whether they had sent rude or impolite emails that day.

A total of 945 morning surveys and 843 afternoon surveys were completed.

Examples of cyber-unfriendliness were ‘ignoring a request to schedule an appointment that someone made via email’ and ‘making degrading or derogatory comments via email’.

The study found that, after a shorter night’s sleep, employees had more self-regulated fatigue and were therefore more concerned with cyber-unfriendliness at work, especially if they scored low on friendliness.

Sleep duration was negatively associated with self-regulatory fatigue, which was positively related to cyber-unfriendliness.

Agreeableness moderated the relationship between sleep duration and self-regulatory fatigue, as well as the indirect effect of sleep duration on cyber-unfriendliness.

Study lead author Trevor Watkins said: ‘Our findings build on previous research suggesting that self-control is restored while people sleep, to the extent that people lose self-control after a poor night’s sleep and are more likely to engage in cybercrime. rudeness at work the next day.’

Sleep duration was negatively associated with self-regulatory fatigue, which was positively related to cyber-unfriendliness (stock image)

Sleep duration was negatively associated with self-regulatory fatigue, which was positively related to cyber-unfriendliness (stock image)

The researchers said that as information technology has progressed, employees have shifted an increasing portion of their interactions with each other to electronic means such as email, discussion boards, video conferencing and text messaging.

They said: ‘This has brought many benefits, including efficient and timely communication over long distances.

‘But in addition to these advantages, electronic communication also offers the possibility of cyber-unfriendliness. Cyber ​​unfriendliness is defined as ‘communicative behavior exhibited in computer-mediated interactions that violate the norms of mutual respect in the workplace.

‘For example, contemporary workplaces that rely heavily on electronic communications expose employees to cyber-unfriendliness.’

Previous research has focused on rudeness in the workplace in general.

The authors wrote: ‘While this research was helpful in taking important first steps in the literature on rudeness, this approach of focusing on individual differences and organizational contexts advances the implicit assumption that rudeness in the workplace and by extension cyber rudeness in the workplace. determined solely by workplace phenomena.

“We maintain employees’ ability to resist this temptation and suppress the urge to engage in cyber-unfriendliness in the workplace, determined in part by their ability to exercise self-control.

‘Existing research indicates that self-control is restored while people sleep, so that people have a lack of self-control after a short night of sleep.

Therefore, we propose that sleeping at home on one night will influence cyber-unfriendliness the next day, with self-regulatory fatigue as the causal mechanism. In other words, sleep is an important causal determinant of cyber-unfriendliness that comes from outside the work context.’

The findings are published in the journal Sleep Health.

TOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

  1. Having a clean, comfortable bed that supports your body will make it easier for you to relax and unwind each night.
  2. Practice for 20-30 minutes every day. If possible, try to schedule your workout at least 5-6 hours before bedtime, as exercising too late at night can harm sleep quality.
  3. Increase your exposure to bright light during the day and reduce it at night to help regulate your circadian rhythm.
  4. Avoid coffee, tea and cola drinks in the evening as caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to 8 hours. Drink plenty of water instead.
  5. Certain supplements are beneficial for people who have trouble turning off and maintaining good quality sleep. Melatonin, magnesium and glycine are all popular choices that can improve sleep and help the body relax.
  6. Reducing alcohol will help. This is because it affects your melatonin production, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  7. Control the temperature of a room by keeping blinds or curtains closed during hot days to prevent the sun from overheating your room.
  8. Try setting your body an internal alarm clock by sticking to a strict bedtime and standing routine.
  9. Avoid hot or spicy foods that can aggravate your body and interfere with your sleep quality.
  10. People who suffer from insomnia should avoid an afternoon nap because if it lasts too long, it can lead to a vicious cycle of not being able to sleep the next night.

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