Guiding principles for determining work shift duration and addressing the effects of work shift duration on performance, safety, and health: guidance from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society

Indira Gurubhagavatula, Laura K. Barger, Christopher M. Barnes, Mathias Basner, Diane B. Boivin, Drew Dawson, Christopher L. Drake, Erin E. Flynn-Evans, Vincent Mysliwiec, P. Daniel Patterson, Kathryn J. Reid, Charles Samuels, Nita Lewis Shattuck, Uzma Kazmi, Gerard Carandang, Jonathan L. Heald, Hans P.A. Van Dongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CITATION: Risks associated with fatigue that accumulates during work shifts have historically been managed through working time arrangements that specify fixed maximum durations of work shifts and minimum durations of time off. By themselves, such arrangements are not sufficient to curb risks to performance, safety, and health caused by misalignment between work schedules and the biological regulation of waking alertness and sleep. Science-based approaches for determining shift duration and mitigating associated risks, while addressing operational needs, require: (1) a recognition of the factors contributing to fatigue and fatigue-related risks; (2) an understanding of evidence-based countermeasures that may reduce fatigue and/or fatigue-related risks; and (3) an informed approach to selecting workplace-specific strategies for managing work hours. We propose a series of guiding principles to assist stakeholders with designing a shift duration decision-making process that effectively balances the need to meet operational demands with the need to manage fatigue-related risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2283-2306
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Keywords

  • alertness
  • circadian rhythms
  • mental fatigue
  • occupational medicine
  • policy making
  • productivity
  • shift scheduling
  • sleep homeostasis
  • sleepiness
  • working time arrangements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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