Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
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Published online: 2019-12-24

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Daily sleep quality and naval work performance: the role of leadership

Morten Nordmo1, Olav Kjellevold Olsen12, Jørn Hetland1, Roar Espevik3, Arnold Bastiaan Bakker45, Ståle Pallesen1
Pubmed: 31891172
IMH 2019;70(4):202-209.


Background: Poor sleep is a growing concern in naval settings. Previous research has demonstrated that both civilian and military naval work strains sleep quality as well as a negative relationship between sleep quality and crew work performance. Variables moderating this relationship, such as leadership are of interest.

Materials and methods: The present paper investigates how sailors’ daily variations in sleep quality influence self-rated naval work-performance and interacts with perceived daily transformational leadership during a 30-day naval training mission.

Results: Using multi-level analysis, we found significant positive main effects of sleep quality and transformational leadership on naval work performance. Transformational leadership moderated the sleep quality-work performance link. Individuals who experienced higher levels of leadership were less prone to reductions in performance after poor sleep.

Conclusions: Overall, the results suggest that leadership can partly negate some of the reduction in performance that often accompanies poor sleep, and that leadership becomes more important as the crew becomes sleepier

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