Sleep Health in Male-dominated Workplaces: A Qualitative Study Examining the Perspectives of Male Employees

Allison L. Soprovich, Joan L. Bottorff, Lisa A. Wozniak, John L. Oliffe, Cherisse L. Seaton, Mitch J. Duncan, Cristina M. Caperchione, Elizabeth R. Ellehoj, Steven T. Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore working men’s perspectives about sleep health and the intersecting influences of gender and work, describing participant’s views on current and potential programming and organizational support to promote sleep health. Methods: Twenty men employed in male-dominated industries in the north-central region of Alberta, Canada, participated in 4 consultation group discussions addressing motivators, facilitators and barriers to sleep health. Results: Participants reported sleeping an average of 6.36 (SD ±1.1) hours per night, and the majority worked more than 40 hours per week. Data were analyzed using an inductive approach. The findings provided important insights. In normalizing sleep deprivation and prioritizing the need to “just keep going” on six or less hours of sleep, the men subscribed to masculine ideals related to workplace perseverance, stamina and resilience. Workplace cultures and practices were implicated including normative dimensions of overtime and high productivity and output, amid masculine cultures constraining emotions and conversations about sleep, the sum of which muted avenues for discussing, let alone promoting sleep. Challenges to good sleep were primarily constructed around time constraints, and worry about meeting work and home responsibilities. Men’s preferences for workplace support included providing and incentivizing the use of sleep health resources, designing work for sleep health (e.g., shift schedules, overtime policies) and getting advice from experienced coworkers and experts external to the workplace organization. Conclusion: These findings hold potential for informing future gender-sensitive programming and organizational practices to support sleep health among working men.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)224-240
    Number of pages17
    JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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