The research team, CQUniversity has identified via a formal systematic review of the relevant literature, that inadequate sleep for many carers is a major factor affecting their health and wellbeing.
Carers Australia commissioned the Sleep Health Foundation to broker this important research, which was undertaken by CQU.
Carers are those who provide unpaid care to one or more people (usually but not always a relative) with a disability, chronic illness, mental health condition, terminal illness, or who are frail aged. While the provision of care is fundamental from both an economic and quality of life perspective for care recipients, sleep disruption is a likely repercussion for caregivers providing 24/7 support.
One of the biggest challenges that Carers face is the fact that they are required to provide round-the-clock care, including overnight, in an essentially unregulated ‘workplace’. Even when sleep is regularly disturbed or restricted, Carers do not necessarily have access to the equivalent of regular ‘in-shift’ or between shift breaks.
This report covers the current understanding of the impact of unpaid caring roles on sleep, and provides recommendations for managing sleep disturbances.