Friday Poster – Harris

Sleep in ag: investing in the feasibility of measuring sleep quantity and quality in agriculture workers.

Susan Harris, MLS, Nebraska Extension; Amanda Prokasky, PhD

Dr. Prokasky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Child Development at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In this project, Dr. Prokasky is applying her expertise in sleep and actigraphy to an agricultural population.   Susan Harris is the Rural Health, Wellness, and Safety Educator for Nebraska Extension. Harris extensively studied sleep and developed programs for sleep deprivation education, teaching all ages since 2017.

Learning objective:
Participants will be able to learn whether there are differences in sleep quantity and quality during peak busy farming/ranching seasons as compared to non-peak farming/ranching seasons.

Discuss this presentation with the authors on Friday, November 12 from noon – 12:30 on the Zoom Live-stream.


According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sleep deprivation is a Public Health Problem, leading to increased risk for health-related problems and a lower health-related quality of life (Strine & Chapman, 2005). Insufficient sleep increases risk for accident and injury (Gregory 2008; Jadhav et al., 2016). Farming and ranching rank as two of the most dangerous occupations, with higher rates of accident, injury, and death compared to most other occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013; Voaklander et al., 1999). Agricultural work involves seasonal peak busy periods (e.g. during planting in the spring and harvesting during the fall) with long work hours and a greater potential for sleep loss (LaBrash et al., 2008), yet it is unknown whether farmers and ranchers experience significant sleep loss during their peak busy seasons as compared to their non-peak/slow seasons. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the sleep quantity and quality in a sample of 41 farmers and ranchers during peak and non-peak seasons. Sleep is objectively measured using actigraphy during their peak and non-peak seasons. Preliminary data on differences in sleep quantity and quality during peak and non-peak work seasons will be presented.

Click on Thumbnail to view: