What to Ask Your Doctor About Shift Work Disorder

Shift Work Disorder

What to Ask Your Doctor About Shift Work Disorder

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

When you talk to a doctor about sleep symptoms that may be caused by your shift schedule, your doctor may ask you about:

  • Your physical and mental health history.
  • Your symptoms (in detail), including how long you’ve had them, how frequent they are, and how they interfere with work or social life.
  • Your work schedule and sleep habits.
  • Any history you have had with other sleep disorders, like insomnia or sleep apnea.
  • Your doctor may simply talk to you to make a diagnosis, or suggest certain tests and assessments to get more information.

Consider asking your doctor the following questions:

  • Do you think my symptoms are caused by my shift work schedule, or could there be another cause? What other conditions or disorders should be ruled out?
  • Are there any behavioral changes that I should make to improve my symptoms?
  • What treatment options are available (sleep aids and non-medical treatments)?
  • What is the best treatment for me?