The Impact of Shift Work on Brazilian Train Drivers with Different Chronotypes: A Comparative Analysis through Objective and Subjective Criteria

Centro de Estudo Multidisciplinar em Sonolência e Acidentes (CEMSA), São Paulo, Brazil.
Medical Principles and Practice (Impact Factor: 1.34). 01/2013; 22(4). DOI: 10.1159/000345978
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to compare sleep pattern, tiredness sensation and quality of life between different chronotypes in train drivers from a Brazilian transportation company.

Subjects and methods:
Ninety-one train drivers, working a rotary work schedule including night shift, were divided into three groups according to their chronotype (morning types, intermediate or evening types) and were assessed for their sleep and quality of life, as characterized by a subjective questionnaire and the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT), applied before and immediately after the night shift. The pattern of activity and rest was measured for 10 days by actigraphy, and the chronotype was determined through the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire.

Forty-one (45.1%) individuals were classified as morning type, 44 (48.4%) were classified as intermediate and 6 (6.6%) as evening type. The evening types had a tendency to remain awake for a longer period of time before the night shift (p = 0.05) and scored worse overall for quality of life compared to morning types (p = 0.11). There was no significant difference between the groups regarding variability in the PVT performance, even when covaried by the period of waking time before the test. There was no significant difference either in feelings of fatigue before and after starting the shift.

Although the evening type number was small, evening type individuals scored worse relative to sleep and quality of life than morning type individuals.

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