If women want to lean in to work, they may first want to lie down for a good night’s rest. A Washington State University-led study indicated that sleep quality impacted women’s mood and changed how they felt about advancing in their careers. Meanwhile, men’s aspirations were not impacted by sleep quality.

The researchers discovered this finding in a two-week-long survey study of 135 workers in the U.S. Each day the participants first noted how well they had slept and the quality of their current mood, and then later in the day how they felt about striving for more status and responsibility at work.

Julie Kmec.

For the study published in the journal Sex Roles, researchers, including WSU sociologist Julie Kmec, surveyed full-time employees twice a day for two consecutive work weeks for a total of more than 2,200 observations. The participants answered questions about their previous night’s sleep and current mood around noon every day and in the evenings answered questions about their intentions to pursue more responsibility, status, and influence at work.

Both men and women reported good and bad sleep quality over the course of the study, notably with no gender difference in reported sleep quality. However, women more often reported lowered intentions to pursue more status at work on days following a night of poor sleep.

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