sleep foundation

Shift Work Disorder

The National Sleep Foundation

Medically Reviewed by

The National Sleep Foundation

Written 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?