Sleep experts have always known that night shift workers are at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident. A new study finds even more conclusive proof that night shift workers are at risk of a number of sleep disorders that can increase their risks of being involved in a car crash.
The study was conducted in the Netherlands where Dutch researchers found that out of all the patients involved in the study, more than 51% suffered from at least one sleep disorder. The researchers focused on more than 37,000 workers who were questioned about their work patterns and sleeping habits. The researchers screened participants for 6 common sleep disorders including insomnia, hypersomnia or excessive sleeping, sleep apnea and other sleep – related breathing disorders, sleep walking, sleep – related movement disorders and sleep – wake disturbances. They found that 51% or at least one third of the participants suffered from at least one sleep disorder and 13% of all participants suffered from at least two of the sleep disorders for which they were screened.
Among those who did night shifts, whether regular night shifts or rotational night shifts, 26% reported at least two or more sleep disorders. Consistent and regular night shifts seemed to be the most dangerous for workers with many of these workers reporting lower than optimum hours of sleep. About 50 percent of the workers who were on night shifts reported that they often slept for less than 6 hours a day. The ideal sleep duration for an adult is 8 hours everyday.