Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original article
Shift-related sleep problems vary according to work schedule
  1. Elisabeth Flo1,2,
  2. Ståle Pallesen1,2,
  3. Torbjørn Åkerstedt3,
  4. Nils Magerøy4,
  5. Bente Elisabeth Moen4,5,
  6. Janne Grønli1,6,
  7. Inger Hilde Nordhus1,7,
  8. Bjørn Bjorvatn1,5
  1. 1Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  2. 2Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  3. 3Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  5. 5Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  6. 6Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  7. 7Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Elisabeth Flo, Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Haukeland Universitetssjukehus, Jonas Lies vei 65, Bergen 5021, Norway; elisabeth.flo{at}


Objectives Shift-related sleep and sleepiness problems may be due to characteristics of both shifts (ie, day, evening and night shifts) and work schedules (ie, permanent vs rotational schedules). The Bergen Shift Work Sleep Questionnaire (BSWSQ) was used to investigate associations between shift-related sleep problems and work schedules.

Methods 1586 nurses completed the BSWSQ. Participants who, in relation to a shift, ‘often’ or ‘always’ experienced both a sleep problem and a tiredness/sleepiness problem were defined as having shift-related insomnia (separate for day, evening and night shifts and rest-days). Logistic regression analyses were conducted for day, evening, night, and rest-day insomnia with participants on both permanent and rotational schedules.

Results Shift-related insomnia differed between the work schedules. The evening shift insomnia was more prevalent in the two-shift rotation schedule than the three-shift rotation schedule (29.8% and 19.8%, respectively). Night shift insomnia showed higher frequencies among three-shift rotation workers compared with permanent night workers (67.7% and 41.7%, respectively). Rest-day insomnia was more prevalent among permanent night workers compared with two- and three-shift rotations (11.4% compared with 4.2% and 3.6%, respectively).

Conclusions The prevalences of shift-related insomnia differed between the work schedules with higher frequencies for three-shift rotations and night shifts. However, sleep problems were present in all shifts and schedules. This suggests that both shifts and work schedules should be considered in the study of shift work-related sleep problems.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.