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The Impact of on-Call Work for Partners’ Sleep, Relationship Quality and Daytime Functioning

CQUniversity, Appleton Institute, Adelaide 5034, South Australia, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Clocks & Sleep 2019, 1(1), 185-192;
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Clocks & Sleep and Society)
PDF [224 KB, uploaded 5 March 2019]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: on-call; sleep; workers; partners; emotion; relationship quality on-call; sleep; workers; partners; emotion; relationship quality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Karan, S.M.; Vincent, G.E.; Ferguson, S.A.; Jay, S.M. The Impact of on-Call Work for Partners’ Sleep, Relationship Quality and Daytime Functioning. Clocks & Sleep 2019, 1, 185-192.

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