Mental fatigue, work and sleep

J Psychosom Res. 2004 Nov;57(5):427-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2003.12.001.


Objective: The study examined the multivariate relationship between mental fatigue and different work-related (work load, work hours) and background/life style factors, as well as disturbed sleep.

Methods: A total of 5720 healthy employed men and women living in the greater Stockholm area participated in a questionnaire study on cardiovascular risk factors. The data were analysed using a multiple logistic regression analysis with self-rated fatigue as the dependent variable.

Results: Fatigue was predicted by disturbed sleep (4.31; 3.50-5.45, high immersion in work (4.17; 2.93-5.94), high work demands (2.39; 1.54-3.69), social support, being a female, being a supervisor and high age. Shift work, work hours (including overtime) and influence at work did not become significant predictors. With control for work demands a high number of work hours was associated with lower fatigue.

Conclusion: Disturbed sleep is an important predictor of fatigue, apparently stronger than previously well-established predictors such as work load, female gender, lack of exercise, etc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Description
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Workload*