Does social support buffer the effects of occupational stress on sleep quality among paramedics? A daily diary study

J Occup Health Psychol. 2017 Jan;22(1):71-85. doi: 10.1037/a0040107. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


Given evidence suggesting a detrimental effect of occupational stress on sleep, it is important to identify protective factors that may ameliorate this effect. We followed 87 paramedics upon waking and after work over 1 week using a daily diary methodology. Multilevel modeling was used to examine whether the detrimental effects of daily occupational stress on sleep quality were buffered by perceived social support availability. Paramedics who reported more support availability tended to report better quality sleep over the week. Additionally, perceived support availability buffered postworkday sleep from average occupational stress and days of especially high occupational stress. Perceived support availability also buffered off-workday sleep from the cumulative amount of occupational stress experienced over the previous workweek. Those with low levels of support displayed poor sleep quality in the face of high occupational stress; those high in support did not show significant effects of occupational stress on sleep. (PsycINFO Database Record

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allied Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilevel Analysis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Schedule Tolerance