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Sleep, Pain, and Hospital Workers

Categories: Health care, Sleep, Total Worker Health, Women

We know that decreased sleep duration and extended shifts in healthcare workers are linked to workplace injuries.  The effects of decreased sleep on pain in the workplace are less clear.  New research from the Harvard Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing  –one of four NIOSH Centers of Excellence funded to explore and research the concepts of Total Worker Health™- examines the question: Does lack of sleep increase pain and limit function among hospital care workers?    

NIOSH Research on Work Schedules and Work-related Sleep Loss

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Health care, Manufacturing, Mining, Motor Vehicle Safety, Sleep, Stress, Total Worker Health, Transportation, Women

Yesterday, in honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, we blogged about sleep and work and the risks to workers, employers, and the public when workers’ hours and shifts do not allow for adequate sleep.   This blog provides a brief overview of some of the work that NIOSH intramural scientists are carrying out to better understand these risks and ways to prevent them.

Nurses/Reproduction Issues/Shift Work

NIOSH studies are examining shift work and physical demands with respect to adverse pregnancy outcome among nurses, specifically the association between work schedule and risk of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, and menstrual function.  This research was the first to look at shift work and pregnancy in U. S. nurses.  NIOSH researchers are collaborating with the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which is the largest, ongoing prospective study of nurses. Results have shown that an increased risk of several reproductive outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, early preterm birth, and menstrual cycle irregularities, are related to shift work, particularly working the night shift.

Sleep and Work

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Health care, Manufacturing, Mining, Motor Vehicle Safety, Sleep, Stress, Total Worker Health, Transportation, Women

We know that sleep is important.  The need for sleep is biologically similar to the need to eat and drink, and it is critical for maintaining life and health and for working safely.  Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night is linked with a wide range of better health and safety outcomes. NIOSH has been actively involved in research to protect workers, workers’ families, employers, and the community from the hazards linked to long work hours and shift work. In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, we have summarized the sleep and work issue below and, in a companion blog tomorrow, will highlight NIOSH research in this area. 

A growing number of American workers are not getting enough sleep. Research shows an increase from 24% in the 1980s to 30% in the 2000s in the percentage of American civilian workers reporting 6 or fewer hours of sleep per day—a level considered by sleep experts to be too short (Luckhaupt, Tak, & Calvert 2009).

 
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