Circadian typology and sleep-wake patterns
Natale, Martoni and Cicogna (20021) conducted research to describe the sleep–wake behavior of air traffic controllers with different circadian typology (morning and evening persons) and working a six-day cycle with backward rotation (13:00-20:00; 7:00-13:00, 20:00-7:00, and three rest days). This article provides a meta-analysis on the relevant results.
Illustration 1 shows differences between morning and evening types in three wake behaviors (activity, nap length and frequency of sleeping bouts). Evening-type air traffic controllers took more frequent and longer naps on day shifts, were moderately more active and took slightly longer naps on rest days, and were slightly more active after a night shift. In contrast, morning types took more frequent and longer naps after a night shift but did not show any discernible difference in main activity on day shifts.
|Illustration 1: Wake differences between circadian types|
|Mean activity||d2||More active|
|On work days||0.02||—|
|On rest days||-0.59||evening|
|After night shift||-0.38||evening|
|Nap length||d2||Longer naps|
|On work days||-1.12||evening|
|On rest days||-0.35||evening|
|After night shift||0.78||morning|
|Sleeping bouts||d2||More bouts|
|On work days||-1.09||evening|
|On rest days||-0.11||—|
|After night shift||0.79||morning|
Illustration 2 shows differences between morning and evening types in five sleep behaviors (restlessness, latency in falling sleep, awakening bouts, sleep quantity and sleep quality). Evening-type air traffic controllers had better sleep quality (efficiency) after a night shift and, moderately, on rest days, but also had slightly more awakenings from sleep on day shifts. In contrast, morning types slept longer during all three shifts but showed slightly better sleep quality during day shifts. They also showed longer delays in falling sleep, specially after a night shift, were moderately more restless after a night shift and on rest days, and had moderately more awakenings bouts, specially after night shifts.
|Illustration 2: Sleep differences between circadian types|
|Mean activity||d2||More restless|
|Before morning shift||-0.11||—|
|On rest days||0.50||morning|
|After night shift||0.56||morning|
|Sleep latency||d2||Longer delay|
|Before morning shift||0.43||morning|
|On rest days||0.25||morning|
|After night shift||1.10||morning|
|Waking bouts||d2||More awakenings|
|Before morning shift||-0.17||evening|
|On rest days||0.18||morning|
|After night shift||0.48||morning|
|Sleep length||d2||Longer sleep|
|Before morning shift||1.26||morning|
|On rest days||0.73||morning|
|After night shift||0.70||morning|
|Sleep efficiency||d2||More efficient|
|Before morning shift||0.26||morning|
|On rest days||-0.37||evening|
|After night shift||-0.70||evening|
Want to know more?
- Wiley Online Library - original article
- This links provides access to the original full article on Wiley's Online Library.