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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MARTINO, Milva Maria Figueiredo de. Comparative study of sleep patterns in nurses working day and night shifts. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.12, n.2, pp.95-99. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. To compare sleep patterns in nurses working day and night shifts in a hospital in Campinas (SP), Brazil. Methods. Fifty-nine nurses between 23 and 59 years of age participated in the study. For day shift workers, the pattern of nocturnal sleep was examined; for night shift workers, nocturnal and diurnal sleep patterns were examined. During 1 week, participants filled out a sleep diary right after waking up. The following items were assessed: time going to bed, falling asleep, and waking up; sleep latency; duration in hours of nocturnal and diurnal sleep; naps; quality of sleep; mode of waking up; and comparison between the sleep recorded in the diary with the usual sleep. Personal and professional information was also collected. Results. Day shift workers went to bed at 23h36min, and night workers at 23h52min (P > 0.05). The nurses working a day schedule woke up earlier (7h3min) than those working a night schedule when they slept at night (8h30min) (P £ 0.004, Wilcoxon). Mean sleep latency was 23min26s for day shift nurses versus 22min50s for night shift nurses; the duration of nocturnal sleep was 7h11min and 9h6min, respectively. Only day workers took naps (mean 2h3min). The average diurnal sleep of night shift nurses was fractionated (two periods, mean time asleep 4h7min and 2h38min). The quality of the nocturnal sleep of night shift workers was better than that of day shift workers. The mean period working in a hospital was 14.31 years for day workers versus 7.07 for night shift workers (P £ 0.05, Wilcoxon). The study participants had healthy habits, especially concerning alcohol consumption. We verified the use of antihypertensives, diuretics, and analgesics. Conclusions. The present findings are similar to those previously described in the literature. Night shift nurses should be able to take naps to compensate for the sleep deficit accrued when they work at night.

Keywords : Transtorno do sono do trabalhador em turnos; ciclo vigília-sono; tolerância ao trabalho programado; recursos humanos de enfermagem.

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