West Texas A&M-led research finds lack of sleep may cause you to send rude emails

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Receiving an email that’s written in all caps, someone ignoring your question or they’re being flat out rude happens almost all the time at work.

“We usually attribute that to oh what a jerk or what a bad place to work,” said Dr. Trevor Watkins, West Texas A&M Assistant Professor of Management & Foust Professor of Business.

But research conducted by Dr. Watkins may have found a connection on why this happens.

“One of the most poignant predictors within an individual fluctuation is sleep. Everybody sleeps. Sometimes we have great night sleeps and sometimes not so great. Our hypothesis was that if we were sleep-deprived then on a given day we would be more likely to engage in cyber incivility and sending these rude emails,” said Dr. Watkins.

So for two weeks, Dr. Watkins and his team surveyed 131 full-time MBA students daily, assessing how much they slept and their “cyber incivility” behaviors.

“We find that those individuals who were sleep-deprived on those days, they were more likely to engage in cyber incivility than on days that they were rested,” said Dr. Watkins.

Dr. Watkins’ biggest takeaway from this research?

“We tend to think of our work and non-work lives as distinctive and separate. What happens at the office stays at the office. What happens at the home stays at home but our findings suggest that our work and our home lives are more intertwined than we sometimes think,” said Dr. Watkins.

If you’d like to read more about the research, click here: https://www.wtamu.edu/news/2021/08/rude-emails-linked-to-lack-of-sleep-in-wt-led-research.html

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