Shift Work Linked to Sleep Problems in Younger Employees, Study Finds
However, researchers said the sleep problems don't appear to get worse over time, perhaps because younger employees who have a lot of trouble with sleep issues are more likely to quit shift work.
The report, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, used a large employment database to examine the relationship between shift work and sleep problems in workers of different ages and over time. As in previous studies, shift workers had a higher rate of sleep problems than day workers. Shift work was specifically related to waking up too early rather than other types of sleep problems.
Philip Tucker, lead researcher from Swansea University in Wales, said the effects were most apparent in the early to middle years of working life -- workers in their 30s and 40s. Former shift workers had more sleep problems than those who had never done shift work. However, more years of shift work did not lead to greater sleep problems, Tucker said. Instead, employees who gave up shift work seemed to be a self-selected group who tended to have more problems with shift work.
Researchers said the study confirms the reported link between shift work and sleep problems while lending new insights into the course of those conditions over time. Sleep problems seem to be a reversible consequence of shift work, Tucker said, although it may take awhile after giving up shift work before sleep returns to normal.
Read more at the WORKERSCOMP ForumTM homepage.
May 24, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications