Enhancing sleep and well-being in working families

This research project investigates the role of sleep on individuals' health.

Enhancing sleep and well-being in working families


Overview

This project expects to generate new knowledge in the sociology of sleep using innovative data collection bringing together cross-national, nationally representative, longitudinal and physiological data on Australians’ sleep patterns. Sleep is essential for economic productivity, physical health and emotional well-being. This project aims to investigate the role of sleep on individuals’ health by measuring Australians’ sleep patterns relative to work and family demands. This project aims to investigate the role of sleep on individuals’ health by measuring Australians' sleep patterns relative to work and family demands.

Objectives

Expected outcomes of this project are to identify the social and biological determinants of sleep and their links with health, family and economic policy recommendations. This project expects to generate new knowledge in the sociology of sleep and clear policy recommendations, using innovative data collection that brings together cross-national, nationally representative, longitudinal and physiological data on Australians’ sleep patterns. The results of this detailed inquiry will provide knowledge for integration into policy on health, quality of life and public policy.

Publications

Maume, David J., Hewitt, Belinda and Ruppanner, Leah. “Gender Equality and Restless Sleep Among Partnered Europeans,” in Journal of Marriage and Family Volume 80, Issue 4, August 2018, pp. 1040-1058.

Abstract

Sleep is situated in the work-family nexus and can be shaped by national norms promoting gender equality. The authors tested this proposition using individual data from the European Social Survey matched to a country‐level measure of gender equality. In individual‐level models, women’s sleep was more troubled by the presence of children in the home and partners’ unemployment, whereas men’s restless sleep was associated with their own unemployment and worries about household finances. In country‐level models, the authors find that in nations that empower women and elevate their status, men and women alike report sounder sleep, and the gender gap in restless sleep is significantly reduced among those living in gender‐equal countries. This study adds to the understanding of gender differences in sleep quality and provides new evidence on the importance of the national context in shaping the pattern of gender inequality in the domestic sphere.

Project details

Sponsors

Australian Research Council – Discovery grant

Research partners

University of Cincinnati

Project team

Associate Professor Leah Ruppanner
Professor Belinda Hewitt
David Maume (University of Cincinnati)

Contact

Associate Professor Leah Ruppanner