Sleep, Work Stress and Headache in Printing Business: An Actigraphy Study

Kottwitz, Maria U.; Gerhardt, Christin; Schmied, Sabrina; Elfering, Achim (2019). Sleep, Work Stress and Headache in Printing Business: An Actigraphy Study. Sleep and vigilance, 3(1), pp. 9-15. Springer 10.1007/s41782-019-0055-3

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Purpose: Technological change, economic pressure and the need for concentration increase work stress in the printing busi-ness. It is well known that stress in the workplace is associated with impaired cognitive functioning, such as headaches and concentration problems. Accordingly, daily recovery—especially restful and healthy sleep—is essential for human functioning. This study tested whether the quality of the previous night’s sleep predicts headaches and concentration problems independent of current-day time pressure, work interruptions and concentration requirements.
Methods: Twenty-seven out of 28 printing plant employees contributed daily data over five consecutive workdays. Self-reported data on working conditions and cognitive functions and actigraphy-based indicators of sleep quality were subjected to multi-level analysis. Results: Multilevel regression analysis of 125 days confirmed that longer sleep-onset latency, more fragmented sleep and lower sleep efficiency were antecedents of headache intensity the following day. Headaches were also predicted by the current work interruptions. Concentration problems were predicted by the previous night’s sleep latency and the current day’s concentration requirements.
Conclusion: Poor recovery in the sense of low sleep quality may impair cognitive function beyond the effects of the current-day’s work stress. Work redesign and person-oriented training should be used to promote sleep and cognitive function in printers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Kottwitz, Maria Undine, Gerhardt, Christin, Elfering, Achim


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Christine Soltermann

Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2020 12:17

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:





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