• gender;
  • night work;
  • nursing;
  • recovery from work;
  • sleep

silva-costa a., rotenberg l., griep r.h. & fischer f.m. (2011) Relationship between sleeping on the night shift and recovery from work among nursing workers – the influence of domestic work. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(5), 972–981.


Aim.  This paper is a report of a study on the association between sleep patterns during work nights and recovery from work among nursing workers, considering domestic work hours.

Background.  Several hospitals allow nursing workers to sleep during the night shift, but this is rarely evaluated from the workers’ health perspective. The need for recovery from work concept can be useful for testing the impact of night work on sleep. Recovery is not a problem if workers have enough time to recover between periods of work. Therefore, domestic work would be likely to interfere in the recovery process.

Methods.  This cross-sectional study was carried out at three hospitals in 2005–2006, through a comprehensive questionnaire. All nursing teams engaged in assistance to patients were invited to participate. Analyses included female night workers with no incidence of insomnia. Participants (= 396) were classified into those who did not sleep during night shifts, those who slept for up to 2 hours and those who slept for 2–3 hours.

Results.  Binomial logistic regression analysis showed that sleeping on the job for 2–3 hours during night shifts is related to a better recovery from work provided the workers do not undergo long domestic work hours.

Conclusions.  Being allowed to sleep at work during night shifts seemed to contribute to, but was not enough to guarantee, a good recovery from work in the studied population. Recommendations to deal with sleep-deprivation among night workers should consider the complexity of gender roles on the recovery process.