The politics and policies of sleep? Empirical findings and the policy context

Lihi Lahat*, Itai Sened

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Public policies aim to promote the social good, but they do not always meet this goal. We argue that to improve policy and policy analysis, it is important to pay attention to the cumulative effect of policies on how people use their time. In this study, we looked at the effect of certain policies on sleep. Our exploratory study yielded intriguing findings on sleep in Israel in the specific policy context of a dual burden of work and caregiving. We surveyed 671 participants on the effect of work and care hours on sleep. The findings showed participants slept an average of 6.6 hours and expressed the desire to sleep one hour more. The desire to sleep more was higher than for all other uses of time and was evident in all employment categories. Part-time workers slept more than full-time workers and women, and younger people asked to sleep more than older ones. Long work hours and care hours led to lower sleep hours. Our findings suggest the need to be aware of possible ‘side effects’ in the policy design stage and are relevant to other countries with a care-work burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-430
Number of pages23
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Concordia University
National Insurance Institute of Israel
Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies, Concordia University


    • Israel
    • Uses of time
    • care
    • policy analysis
    • policy design
    • sleep
    • work


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