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The impact of on-call work for partners’ sleep, relationship quality and daytime functioning
journal contributionposted on 29.04.2020, 00:00 by SM Karan, Grace VincentGrace Vincent, Sally FergusonSally Ferguson, Sarah Jay
The on-call schedule is a common work arrangement that allows for the continuance of services during periods of low demand or emergencies. Even though 17%–25% of the world’s population participate in on-call work, the human impacts of on-call are generally poorly described in the literature. Of the studies available on the effects of on-call work on workers, disturbances to sleep duration and sleep quality are the most commonly reported, along with negative sleep-related consequences on sleepiness, fatigue, stress and mood. Research has shown that for couples sharing a bed, disturbances to sleep can impair relationship conflict resolution and reduce relationship quality. In the ‘off-site’ on-call scenario where workers are sleeping at home, their co-sleeping partner may be at risk of sleep disturbances and the subsequent detrimental consequences of this disturbed sleep for themselves and their relationship. To date, few studies have investigated the impact of on-call work for partners’ sleep and the potential sleep-related consequences. Therefore, further studies are needed to specifically address whether on-call work impacts the sleep of partners and whether these sleep disturbances also impact the partner’s daily performance and relationship quality. Our aim was to provide a narrative around the existing, relevant literature that both investigate and inform the potential impact of on-call for workers’ partners’ sleep and related consequences.