A work-life perspective on sleep and fatigue – looking beyond shift workers

Natalie Skinner, Jillian Dorrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines sleep and fatigue through a work-life lens. Whilst most often thought of as an issue for shift workers, this study observed that self-reported insufficient sleep and fatigue were prevalent for workers on standard daytime schedules. Using a representative sample of 573 daytime workers (51.3% men; 70.7% aged 25−54 yr) from one Australian state, it was observed that 26.4% of daytime workers never or rarely get the seven hours of sleep a night that is recommended for good health. Those with parenting responsibilites (29.4%) or working long (45+) hours (37.4%) were most likely to report insufficient sleep. Whereas mothers in full-time work were most likely to report frequent fatigue (42.5%). This study highlights the common experience of insufficient sleep and fatigue in a daytime workforce, with significant implications for health and safety at work and outside of work. Stronger and more effective legislation addressing safe and ‘decent’ working time is clearly needed, along with greater awareness and acceptance within workplace cultures of the need to support reasonable workloads and working hours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


  • Fatigue
  • Parents
  • Sleep
  • Work hours
  • Work-life


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