National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 5: Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders


What are the consequences of Shift Work Disorder?

Shift work disrupts both the individual’s sleep and wakeful experiences,89 90 and shift work (even without the disorder) is disruptive to one’s health. Shift workers in general are at an increased risk for peptic ulcer, coronary heart disease, insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome, and respiratory infections.91 92  
Those who have been diagnosed with Shift Work Disorder experience a higher rate of sleepiness-related accidents, absenteeism, depression, reduced social and family activities, and higher morbidity, compared to shift workers without such a diagnosis.93 94 


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90. Ohayon MM, Lemoine P, Arnaud-Briant V, Dreyfus M. Prevalence and consequences of sleep disorders in a shift worker population. J Psychosom Res. 2002;53:577-583.

91. Knutsson A. Health disorders of shift workers. Occup Med (Lond). 2003;53:103-108.

92. Moran D, Jansen K, Kant I, Galana J, van der Brandt P, Sween G. Prevalence of common infections in employees on different work shifts. J Occup Employee Med. 2002;44:1003-1011.

93.Drake CL, Roehrs T, Richardson G, Walsh JK, Roth T. Shift work sleep disorder: prevalence and consequences beyond that of symptomatic day workers. Sleep. 2004;27:1453-1462.

94. Akerstedt T, Peters B, Anund A, Kecklund G. Impaired alertness and performance driving home from the night shift: a driving simulator study. J Sleep Res. 2005;14:17-20.