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Horizons of Psychology :: Psihološka obzorja

Scientific and Professional Psychological Journal of the Slovenian Psychologists' Association

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The impact of shift work on sleep and mental health – a review of the literature and a look ahead

Meta Lavrič & Vita Štukovnik

pdf Full text (pdf)  |  Views: 148  |  flagWritten in Slovene.  |  Published: June 11, 2021

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Abstract: Providing continuous coverage of key services, shift work is a necessity of the modern world. It varies according to the number and length of the shifts and according to scheduling patterns. However, it is common to all forms that they ensure the smooth running of a particular service with the 24-hour presence of staff. This means that working time partly or completely overlaps with night sleep, causing an imbalance between circadian rhythms and the requirements of the environment. Aforesaid imbalance has a negative effect on sleep and can lead to sleep disorders, which in turn cause mental health problems. In addition, the development of unhealthy behaviours developed by shift workers to manage their working hours (especially night work) and the inconsistency of their working hours with those of the general population also lead to poorer mental health, lower quality of social life and family conflicts. However, since shift work cannot be completely eliminated, it is necessary to consider designing the measures to reduce the negative impact of shift work on the mental health and well-being of workers, both at the individual level, as well as at the level of working organisations. Some of the key measures are presented in the article.

Keywords: shift work, night work, circadian rhythms, sleep disorders, mental health

Lavrič, M., & Štukovnik, V. (2021). Vpliv izmenskega dela na spanje in duševno zdravje – pregled literature in pogled naprej [The impact of shift work on sleep and mental health – a review of the literature and a look ahead]. Psihološka obzorja, 30, 153–161.

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