Indian Journal of Sleep Medicine

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 2 ( April-June, 2007 ) > List of Articles


Sleep Patterns and Their Impact on Lifestyle, Anxiety and Depression in BPO workers

Padam Singh, M. K. Sen, J. C. Suri, Puneet Aggarwal

Citation Information : Singh P, Sen MK, Suri JC, Aggarwal P. Sleep Patterns and Their Impact on Lifestyle, Anxiety and Depression in BPO workers. Indian Sleep Med 2007; 2 (2):64-70.

DOI: 10.5005/ijsm-2-2-64

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-04-2007

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2007; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Introduction: Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third party service-provider. It involves work schedules pertaining to extreme forms of shift-work. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD) are not infrequently seen amongst shift workers who, in turn, comprise a large segment of the population employed in the BPO industry. The pattern of sleep, prevalence of anxiety and depression and the overall impact of the nature of their employment on their lifestyle were studied in a segment of BPO workers employed in the call centers around New Delhi. Material & Method: One hundred and eighty-one individuals employed in the BPO industry (call centers) around New Delhi, and a similar number of age and gender matched subjects not thus employed, serving as controls, were included in this study. A questionnaire was submitted to each of them. It included a set of 42 questions, responses to which would yield information pertaining to items related to sleep, lifestyle, anxiety, depression and personal particulars. Appropriate statistical methods were applied to analyze the data. Results: The sleep pattern of BPO workers was found to be markedly different from normal. They were sleepier (ESS of 10-14 was found in 51.4% in the BPO group as against 20.5% in the control group) (p value <0.001); Total sleep time values were found to be in the similar range amongst the BPO workers as well as in the control group population They were more depressed (imperative depression was observed in 62.9% as against only 4.6% in the control group)(p value< 0.001); they were also seen to suffer more from anxiety disorder (an imperative anxiety disorder was found in 33.9% of BPO workers as against 1.4% of the control group) and the use of stimulants (tea, coffee, and cola), other substances (alcohol, narcotics) was also commoner in this group than in controls(p value<0.002). Significant correlation was observed between sleep score and depression (p value <0.001), sleep score and stress at work (p value <0.001), sleep score and abuse of alcohol (p<0.060), sleep score and abuse of narcotics (p value<0.016), Sleep score was also found to correlate with lack of exercise (p value<0.049). Conclusions: The present study has highlighted some of the redeeming features associated with sleep patterns, depression, anxiety and lifestyle that are noted in the BPO workers.

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