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WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Shift Work Sleep

By: Christi Paul
By: Christi Paul

Not everyone works nine to five.

Job times vary. Now researchers are finding, what a lot of off-hour workers already know: the time you start work, could make a difference in the way you sleep.

Here's Christi Paul with today's Health Minute.

How tired you are and how much sleep you get may depend on what time of the day you work.

According to research presented at a professional conference called Sleep 2010 in San Antonio, people who started work between 9 am and 2 pm, slept the longest, while those who started their shift after 8 pm through midnight, slept the least. Now the number of hours varied from 4-point-5 to eight hours.

By looking at 24 separate 6-day work schedules, with varying shift start times, researchers found late night workers had less sleep and poorer performance at work. And when it came to early shifts, meaning those after midnight, the study found those workers were actually better rested because most of them slept right before their duty periods.

In contrast, shifts that started just before midnight did'nt allow for pre-shift sleep because the timing conflicted with the body's early evening circadian process, better known as the inner body clock.

Because of these statistics, experts at the conference believe labor regulations should provide guidance to employers on shift start times, so companies can maximize their workers' sleep opportunity and minimize their risk of on-the-job fatigue.

For today's Health Minute, I'm Christi Paul.


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