The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) launched a new website, www.sleepfoundation.org/shift-work, to help individuals suffering from Shift Work Disorder, a sleeping disorder that affects individuals whose jobs require work that falls outside of the traditional 9 to 5 day. The website is an educational and informational resource center, with content focused on both symptoms and solutions.
Many first responders (police and firefighters), food service, healthcare, and transportation professionals work non-traditional shifts. As today’s work culture continues to align itself with a 24/7, “always on” schedule, employees from many other industries and positions work some form of shift outside the 9 to 5 day. Roughly 15% of full-time wage and salary workers in the United States are shift workers. It is estimated that 20% to 25% of all shift workers experience symptoms of the disorder, including excessive sleepiness and insomnia.
In a 2008 NSF poll, only 63% of shift workers (versus 89% of non-shift workers) said their work schedule allowed them to get enough sleep. Sufferers are significantly more likely to sleep fewer than 6 hours on workdays, to work more hours per week on average, and to experience drowsy driving at least once a month.
“When shift workers are unable to sustain a healthy, regular amount of sleep, both their mental and physical health are affected,” says David Cloud, NSF CEO, in a release. “The National Sleep Foundation’s new Shift Work Disorder resource center is designed to help sufferers understand their symptoms, treatment options, and receive helpful tips to get back to a healthier and more well-rested life.”
Visit www.sleepfoundation.org/shift-work for additional information and resources related to Shift Work Disorder.