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Association of changes in work shifts and shift intensity with change in fatigue and disturbed sleep: A within-subject study

Härmä, M; Karhula, K; Ropponen, A; Puttonen, S; Koskinen, A; Ojajärvi, A; Hakola, T; ... Kivimäki, M; + view all (2018) Association of changes in work shifts and shift intensity with change in fatigue and disturbed sleep: A within-subject study. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health , 44 (4) pp. 394-402. 10.5271/sjweh.3730. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine whether changes in work shifts and shift intensity are related to changes in difficulties to fall asleep, fatigue, and sleep length. // Methods: Questionnaire responses of hospital employees (N=7727, 93% women) in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2015 were linked to daily-based records of working hours during three months preceding each survey. We used conditional logistic regression and longitudinal fixed-effects analyses to investigate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each 25% within-individual change in the proportion of working hour characteristics in relation to changes in fatigue, difficulties to fall asleep, and 24-hour sleep length. // Results: Change in night but not in morning or evening shifts was associated with parallel changes in odds for longer sleep length (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.28–1.64) and fatigue during free days (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.16–1.64). Similarly, short shift intervals and having >2 but not >4 consecutive night shifts were associated with increased odds of fatigue during work and difficulties to fall asleep (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.19–1.72 and OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.05–1.19, respectively). Among workers aged ≥50 years, the associations were the strongest between night shifts and longer sleep (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.52–3.81) and between higher proportion of short shift intervals and fatigue during free days (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.10–2.54). // Conclusions: Among shift workers with fatigue or sleep problems, decreasing the proportion of night shifts and quick returns and giving preference to quickly forward-rotating shift systems may reduce fatigue.

Type: Article
Title: Association of changes in work shifts and shift intensity with change in fatigue and disturbed sleep: A within-subject study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.3730
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3730
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: forward-rotating shift; insomia; older worker; night shift; sleep duration; sleep length; sleep problem; sleepiness; shift interval; shift work; shift worker; working hours
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053390
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