Workers with non-traditional schedules are more likely to be overweight, experience sleep-related health problems and metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, compared to workers following traditional work schedules, the findings showed.

"Shift work employees are particularly vulnerable to experiencing sleep problems as their jobs require them to work night, flex, extended, or rotating shifts," explained lead investigator Marjory Givens, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in the US.

Shift workers were significantly more likely overweight than traditional schedule workers (47.9 percent vs 34.7 percent).  They also experienced more sleep problems such as insomnia (23.6 percent vs. 16.3 percent), insufficient sleep (53 percent vs. 42.9 percent), or excessive wake-time sleepiness (31.8 percent vs. 24.4 percent).

"This study adds to a growing body of literature calling attention to the metabolic health burden commonly experienced by shift workers and suggests that obtaining sufficient sleep could lessen this burden," Givens noted. The study was published in Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.


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