Sleep and the Night Shift
April 20, 2011
Recent news of air-traffic controllers falling asleep on the job got us thinking about the challenges of working the night shift. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will give workers an additional hour between shifts in an effort to fight work fatigue, but sleep experts say that this isn’t enough — scheduled naps should be allowed instead. Twenty percent of Americans work the night shift as air traffic controllers, nurses, truck drivers, custodians, and police officers. But what are the hazards of shift work? And what kind of toll does it take on the body? This hour, we’ll look at the effects that shift work has on performance, safety and health. Our guests are JEANNE GEIGER-BROWN, an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the co-director of the Work and Health Research Center and CHARLES CZEISLER, Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Senior Physician in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.