Sleep and Speaking Up: Does Speaking Your Mind Help You Snooze?

Speaking up at work can affect your sleep!
Is your sleep affected by whether or not you speak up at work? It is! But, how? Find out in this post so you speak up the right way!

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We have talked a lot in the past about the importance of sleep for your well-being. Sleep is a key way that you can recover at the end of your day. Recovery is key for being able to enter your next workday with energy and vigor. Without sleep, you are unable to recover. This means that, even if you feel like you got more done during the day, you’ll burn out quicker. New research shows that if you speak up at work, it can affect your sleep. But, how? Learn more below!

Speaking Up at Work

First, in order to discuss how speaking up at work can impact your sleep, it’s important to understand different ways to do so. There are two ways to speak up at work. The first is called promotive voice. Promotive voice has to do with the expression of new ideas or suggestions for improving the functioning of the team or organization. For example, when an employee suggests a way to increase efficiency, or comes up with the idea for a new product, that’s promotive voice. Promotive voice is all about making your workplace better, and speaking up to make sure it happens.

Second, prohibitive voice is another way to speak up. But, it’s quite different from promotive voice. Instead of making suggestions to improve your workplace, prohibitive voice entails expressing concern about your workplace. For example, if someone makes a mistake, or there is an initiative that is not successful, prohibitive voicers would point this out. In contrast to promotive voice, prohibitive voice serves to tell employees what not to do, as opposed to pointing out ways to make things better.

The Connection Between Voice and Sleep

When you exhibit promotive voice, you experience positive emotions. This is because fellow employees generally respond positively to ideas about how to improve the workplace. So, you receive positivity for these ideas, and then experience positivity yourself as a result. When you feel positively, you notice more positive things around you. This allows you to detach from work more effectively because you are likely to want to stay focused on the present moment. When you are better able to detach, you sleep better.

When you exhibit prohibitive voice, you’re criticizing how people are currently doing things. People don’t respond as positively to that kind of voice. When you tell someone that they aren’t doing things as well or efficiently as possible, they tend to get defensive. So, you experience more negative emotions too. When you are in a conflict at work, or experiencing tension, it’s harder to disconnect. You’re more likely to ruminate over the conflict. So, you struggle to detach and then you have a harder time getting to sleep.

Your sleep is crucial for your success at work. But, if you speak up about things that are going wrong, you may not sleep as well!
Your sleep is crucial for your success at work. But, if you speak up about things that are going wrong, you may not sleep as well!

How to Get Better Sleep?

While it may seem like research would suggest that employees stop raising concerns about things that aren’t going well, that would not be beneficial for organizations. When organizations are not performing well, or there are suggestions for improvement, it doesn’t help for employees to keep those concerns to themselves.

So, instead, organizations should make it less risky for employees to voice concerns. Research suggests that managers should be trained on the value of learning how to improve workplace processes. That way, when employees use prohibitive voice, they are still able to disconnect. When employees speak up – whether that’s about ways to create something new or to improve something that already exists – it’s beneficial for organizations. In turn, it’s important that organizations also ensure it’s beneficial for employees’ sleep as well!

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