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Sleep Disorders

Shift Work

Shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that is caused by a work schedule which takes place during normal sleeping hours.

A shift worker is anyone whose work schedule is outside of the normal 9:00am to 5:00pm business day. Millions of workers in the U.S. are considered shift workers, which according to the Bureau of Labor, includes bridge-builders, commercial drivers, customer service representatives, doctors, nurses, pilots, and police officers, among countless others. There are several types of shift work schedules which includes night shifts, early-morning shifts, and rotating shifts. While shift work can be rewarding and lucrative, it often results in the sacrifice of restful sleep. The human body follows an internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which determines the body's sleep-wake cycle. This rhythm is what naturally causes people to want to sleep when it's dark, and be awake when it's light. For shift workers, this rhythm becomes out of sync due to their work schedules, which can have adverse effects on a person's ability to sleep.

Two of the most serious problems that shift workers endure are frequent sleep disturbance and associated excessive sleepiness. This can result in a variety of problems, including poor concentration, absenteeism, and work-place accidents and injuries. In most cases, the symptoms of shiftwork sleep disorder disappear once the person resumes a normal sleeping schedule; however, in rare cases the problems can continue for some time afterwards. Some studies show that people who work night and early-morning shifts most frequently exhibit the symptoms of shift work sleep disorder. The symptoms shift workers have are related to which type of schedule they have. People who work early-morning shifts typically show signs of difficulty waking up and going to sleep. People who work night shifts are more likely to be tired and less alert while on the job.


Click on the link above to view epidemiologic information related to shift work. This will include information which relates to the incidence and distribution of shift work across a population. This will also include information regarding the prevalence of shift work across a population in relation to specific factors, such as ethnicity, age, gender, etc...

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Click on the link above to view information regarding the diagnosis of shift work. This will describe the preferential methods used to identify patients who suffer from shift work.


Click on the link above to view information regarding the treatment of shift work. This will describe the latest techniques used to help treat patients suffering from shift work, as well as the rate of success and possible implications of using the respective treatment.

Co-morbidities & Consequences

Click on the link above to view information regarding the types of co-morbidities that have been identified in patients suffering from shift work.

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