Shift work is work that takes place on a schedule outside the traditional 9 am – 5 pm day. It can involve evening or night shifts, early morning shifts, and rotating shifts. Many industries rely heavily on shift work, and millions of people work in jobs that require shift schedules.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
When asked, people state many reasons for working on shift schedules. For example:
Shift work is vital in many industries, and we rely on shift workers to provide important services off-hours.
Not all shift workers suffer from sleep issues. But, approximately 10% of night and rotating shift workers are thought to have a sleep disorder known as shift work disorder.
Between roughly 25-30% of shift workers experience symptoms of the disorder such as excessive sleepiness or insomnia.
Shift work is also linked to additional problems with physical and mental health, performance, and safety.
It’s important that shift workers learn specific techniques for improving sleep and managing schedules, to allow for the best sleep and health possible.