Nightly interventions, prevalent to on-call situations, can have negative consequences for those involved. We investigated if intervention-free-on-call-nights would also mean disturbance-free-sleep for people on-call. 16 healthy sleepers spent three nights in the laboratory: after a habituation night, reference and on-call night were counterbalanced. Subjects were instructed to react to a sound, presented at unpredictable moments during the night. Participants were unaware of the fact that the sound would never be presented. These vigilance instructions resulted in more subjective wake after sleep onset (WASO), lower subjective sleep efficiency and significantly lower experienced sleep quality. Objectively, a longer sleep onset, an increased amount of WASO and significantly lower sleep efficiency were observed. During deep sleep, significantly more beta activity was recorded. Apart from real nightly interventions increased vigilance during the night causes sleep to be less efficient and less qualitative as shown by an increase in wake-activity and a distorted sleep perception.