No Time for Rest: An Exploration of Sleep and Social Harm in the North East Night-Time Economy (NTE)

Mark G. Bushell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores the problem of sleep deprivation amongst migrant workers in North East England’s night-time economy (NTE). After first outlining some of the physical and psychological effects of sleep loss, the narrative then focuses on primary accounts drawn from unstructured interviews (n = 16) and short vignettes with migrant workers. The article uses a framework grounded in social harm to explicate the declining recognition afforded to sleep and recuperation among night workers, constructing this as a socially corrosive outcome of neoliberal economic relations and the cultural injunctions that accompany it. The forfeiture of sleep among workers can also form an important point of departure for exploring a nexus of harms that suffuse the nocturnal service industry for low-paid migrant workers. These can have far-reaching consequences for well-being, as they expose the fraying of labour relations in the NTE and act as an affront to the possibility of human flourishing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number1
Early online date27 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Cite this