Stress, Recovery, Sleep, and Burnout

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Abstract Burnout is defined as a chronic affective state, comprising emotional exhaustion, chronic fatigue, and cognitive weariness symptoms. It is an outcome of depletion of energetic resources resulting from cumulative exposure to prolonged work and life stress. Burnout may have severe negative consequences for individuals’ functioning, sleep, health, and well-being. Its development has been shown to be precipitated by insufficient recovery (i.e. inability to replenish lost resources and gain new ones), manifested in recovery complaints and in physiological indicators including disturbed and nonrefreshing sleep. Long work hours, a lack of boundaries between work and nonwork time, and work-home interference have been found to impede recovery processes and to increase the risk of fatigue and burnout. Engagement in active leisure activities, short-term respite from work, and taking vacations have been shown to reduce strain symptoms and burnout, especially for those who are able to psychologically detach themselves from work. Interventions to promote recovery and thus to prevent or alleviate burnout are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Stress and Health
Subtitle of host publicationA Guide to Research and Practice
EditorsCary Cooper, Campbell Quick
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781118993798
ISBN (Print)9781118993774
StatePublished - 2017


  • burnout
  • stress
  • resources
  • recovery
  • sleep
  • health
  • functioning


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