2001 Volume 20 Issue 4 Pages 215-226
Human beings are accustomed to being active and awake during the day, and asleep and rest at night. Since we live in a society which is organised predominantly along daytime activity, therefore working in the night shift may deeply disrupt our social and family life. It is also a well-known fact that night shift causes fatigue and circadian disruption. The basic manifestation of fatigue and circadian rhythm has been linked to health and safety problems, involving decrements in psychophysical and physiological functions, plus subjective complaints. In this context quantitative relationships between shift work and circadian rhythm need to be assessed to explore suitable time schedule, and to minimise sleep depth and fatigue. There is also a great need to discuss circadian disruption, sleepiness and the increasing cost of work related illness among night workers. In this regard, some aspects of fatigue and circadian disruption caused from night shift work are revealed in this paper aiming to increase workers' health, safety and well being as well as productivity. Light / dark cycle and social stimuli issues acting on the circadian timing systems are also explored to solicit opinions and discussion on the controversy of night work. Suggestions are therefore likewise given to enhance workers' adaptation to night shift and synchronization process.