2005 Volume 43 Issue 1 Pages 34-48
Work at unconventional hours can have both long and short term consequences. Shift workers are often required to perform their duties at times that are not favoured by the body's endogenous clock, or circadian pacemaker. A typical night shift worker, for example, may report reductions in alertness and performance during shifts, or significant difficulty attaining sleep of recuperative value in the day, all the while being more likely to develop health complications. The study of circadian physiology has significantly contributed to our current ability to aid the shift worker deal with atypical schedules. We discuss the usefulness of light treatment as a countermeasure for maladaptation to atypical work schedules.