NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Comprehensive study of the sleep of shift workers.

Tepas DI; Walsh JK; Armstrong DR
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules. Johnson LC, Texas DI, Colquhoun WP, Colligan MJ, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127, 1981 Jul; :419-433
Information from a comprehensive study on sleep of shiftworkers in the St. Louis area was presented. The mean age of workers in 1442 individual surveys was 39.4 years; 78.3 were males, 73.6 were married, and 75.2 percent were at least high school graduates. Day workers (DWs) comprised 62 percent of the sample. The afternoon/evening (AE) group comprised 10.9 percent of the sample. Those working between 2200 and 0700 hours were classified night workers (NWs) and represented 9.5 percent of the sample. In this study, 79.6 percent of workers were on their shift schedule for 1 year or more. Fifty percent changed shifts once per week, rotating shift workers (RWs) changed more often. AE workers slept longer than other groups. NWs had the shortest sleep. Sleep length of RWs on day work shift was significantly shorter than that of permanent DWs. There were no significant differences in sleep length between workers who reported difficulty falling asleep and those experiencing no difficulty. Sleep length for RWs was significantly shorter than for DWs and AE workers, however, it was longer than reported sleep length for NWs. RWs and NWs took more naps than DWs. Frequent napping was reported more often among NWs who had difficulty sleeping than among those with no difficulties. DWs and RWs on day shift slept before work, AE workers and NWs generally slept after work. Average sleep length for all surveyed workers was 6.96 hours. RWs changed their sleeping behavior as they changed shifts. Data on sleep length collected from interviews and laboratory tests indicated that workers had relatively stable and consistent sleep length characteristics.
NIOSH-Grant; Shift-work; Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Worker-health; Biostatistics; Work-capacity; Health-protection; Psychophysiology
Psychology Illinois Institute of Tech Iit Center Chicago, Ill 60616
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Johnson LC; Texas DI; Colquhoun WP; Colligan MJ
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127; Grant-Number-R01-OH-00395; Grant-Number-R01-OH-00917
Source Name
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules
Performing Organization
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division