Nature and Science of Sleep
Open access peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.
Dove Medical Press is now a member of the Open Access Initiative
An Author's Guide
A guide to help authors get their paper published.
Support Open Access and Dove Press
Promotional Article Monitoring - further details
Favored Author Program
Real benefits for authors, including fast-track processing of papers.
Shift work: health, performance and safety problems, traditional countermeasures, and innovative management strategies to reduce circadian misalignment
(2995) Total Article Views
Authors: Smith MR, Eastman CI
Published Date September 2012
Volume 2012:4 Pages 111 - 132
|Received:||13 July 2012|
|Accepted:||21 August 2012|
|Published:||27 September 2012|
Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: There are three mechanisms that may contribute to the health, performance, and safety problems associated with night-shift work: (1) circadian misalignment between the internal circadian clock and activities such as work, sleep, and eating, (2) chronic, partial sleep deprivation, and (3) melatonin suppression by light at night. The typical countermeasures, such as caffeine, naps, and melatonin (for its sleep-promoting effect), along with education about sleep and circadian rhythms, are the components of most fatigue risk-management plans. We contend that these, while better than nothing, are not enough because they do not address the underlying cause of the problems, which is circadian misalignment. We explain how to reset (phase-shift) the circadian clock to partially align with the night-work, day-sleep schedule, and thus reduce circadian misalignment while preserving sleep and functioning on days off. This involves controlling light and dark using outdoor light exposure, sunglasses, sleep in the dark, and a little bright light during night work. We present a diagram of a sleep-and-light schedule to reduce circadian misalignment in permanent night work, or a rotation between evenings and nights, and give practical advice on how to implement this type of plan.
Keywords: circadian rhythms, night work, bright light, phase-shifting, sleep, melatonin
Cannotea Citeulike Del.icio.us Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Readers of this article also read:
"You do a tremendous job!!" Ruben Restrepo, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.
- Aggressive behavior, cognitive impairment, and depressive symptoms in elderly subjects
- Long-term treatment of bipolar disorder with a radioelectric asymmetric conveyor
- Moderate alcohol consumption and cognitive risk
- Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety