Circadian principles and design of rotating shift work schedules

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20 Scopus citations


Circadian rhythms may be disrupted when shift workers rotate from one work schedule to another. It has been suggested that in order to minimize the time needed to readjust circadian rhythms to a new work schedule the work time of shift workers should be rotated in a delaying rather than an advancing direction. However, delaying or advancing the work time does not imply that the sleep-wake cycle is also shifted in a similar manner. Indeed, after a complete rotation between the day, evening, and night shifts the sleep time will be advanced once, delayed once, and not shifted once, regardless of whether the workers are on a delaying or an advancing work rotation schedule. Thus circadian rhythms are likely to be perturbed in a similar manner whether the work schedule is rotated in a delaying or an advacing direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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