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NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Family and Social Life

For many years, researchers have theorized that a negative outcome of working shift schedules and long hours is difficulties with personal relationships,1-3 and they have found evidence of disturbances to family and social life.4-8 Researchers report these difficulties may be due to a worker’s poor mood from insufficient sleep and having less quality time to spend with family and friends.9

Adopting good sleep practices, as discussed in previous modules, helps reduce poor sleep and the related mood disturbances that strain relationships. This module discusses additional strategies to improve personal relationships, such as how to gain the understanding and cooperation of family and friends and how to maintain communications.

Working a non-standard schedule can be a more positive experience if you obtain enough quality sleep, gain support from your family and friends, and are flexible in juggling activities and demands.10,11

Happy family of six sitting in the grass on a summer day
Module:10, Page 2 of 19