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The Relationship Between Paid Sick Leave and Sleep

Dr. Cyleste Collins Leads Study on the Relationship Between Paid Sick Leave and Sleep

Dr. Cyleste Collins, an assistant professor in Cleveland State University’s School of Social Work, led a study analyzing the relationship between sleep quality and access to paid sick leave. Findings show that there is a relationship between the two, but that it is a part of a larger set of occupational variables that have an impact on sleep.

“Lack of paid sick leave is related to sleep in specific ways and if we take that further, it becomes a barrier to people’s sleep,” said Collins. “Having a well-rested workforce is very important for productivity, performance and overall health."

The study found that people without paid sick leave reported having significantly more trouble staying asleep and feeling rested than those with paid sick leave after controlling for a range of demographic, work, and other variables related to sleep. They also tended to report having more trouble feeling rested. This, Collins said, is a social justice issue, because those who have less access to paid sick leave tend to also be those most affected by health disparities.

“Past research has found paid sick leave, or the absence of it, is linked to health consequences, financial worries and psychological distress,” Collins added. “This is important for organizations to consider because it can cost more in the end to have a work force without paid sick leave that is unrested, unhealthy and distressed.”

Collins’ findings were published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine earlier this month. The paper, “Paid Sick Leave and Sleep: An Analysis of U.S. Adult Workers,” was coauthored by LeeAnn DeRigne, associate professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler

School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, Rong Bai, a Ph.D. student in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Patricia Stoddard Dare, professor of social work at CSU.