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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Jan-Apr;22(1):29-34. doi: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_4_18.

Effect of Shift Work on Sleep, Health, and Quality of Life of Health-care Workers.

Author information

Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Protection, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
Master of Science (M.Sc.) Program in Sleep Medicine, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
Laboratory of Medical Statistics, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.



Shift work is associated with sleep disruption, impaired quality of life, and is a risk factor for several health conditions. Aim of this study was to investigate the impact of shift work on sleep and quality of life of health-care workers (HCW).


Tertiary University hospital in Greece.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional study.

Materials and Methods:

Included were HCW, working either in an irregular shift system or exclusively in morning shifts. All participants answered the WHO-5 Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and a questionnaire on demographics and medical history. Shift workers filled the Shift Work Disorders Screening Questionnaire (SWDSQ).

Statistical Analysis:

Descriptive statistics, Student's t-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson's r correlation coefficient, and multivariate stepwise linear regression analysis were applied.


Included were 312 employees (87.9% females), 194 working in irregular shift system and 118 in morning shifts. Most shift-workers (58.2%) were somehow or totally dissatisfied with their sleep quality. Regression analysis revealed the following independent determinants for sleep impairment: parenthood (P < 0.001), age 36-45 years (P < 0.001), >3 night shifts/week (P < 0.001), work >5 years in an irregular shift system (P < 0.001). Diabetes mellitus was the most common medical condition reported by shift workers (P = 0.008). Comparison between the two groups revealed a significantly impairment in WHO-5 total score, as well as in 4 of 5 of its items (P < 0.001).


Shift-work impairs quality of life, whereas its duration and frequency, along with age and family status of employees can have adverse effects on sleep.


Health-care workers; nurses; quality of life; shift work; sleep disorder

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