Shift Work Jet Lag

  • Nearly ¼ of the U.S. workforce does shift work.
  • Shift work is considered a sleep disorder because of the difficulty shift workers often have getting enough good quality sleep.
  • Sleep-related results of shift work include disrupted sleep schedules, excessive sleepiness, insomnia, depression and/or irritability, reduced workplace performance, workplace accidents and injuries, and problems with personal relationships.
  • Because of the disruption of their biological clock, shift workers are at increased risk for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.

What are the symptoms of SWSD?

  • The most common symptoms of SWSD are insomnia and excessive sleepiness.
  • Other symptoms of SWSD include:
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Headaches
    • Lack of energy

Not every shift worker suffers from SWSD. However, if you are a shift worker and experience any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor.

What is the risk of untreated SWSD?

  • Increased accidents
  • Increased work-related errors
  • Increased sick leave
  • Increased irritability, mood problems, etc.