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Journal Article

Citation

Postnova S, Robinson PA, Postnov DD. PLoS One 2013; 8(1): e53379.

Affiliation

School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; Center for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS), The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; Brain Dynamics Center, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2013, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0053379

PMID

23308206

PMCID

PMC3537665

Abstract

Shift work has become an integral part of our life with almost 20% of the population being involved in different shift schedules in developed countries. However, the atypical work times, especially the night shifts, are associated with reduced quality and quantity of sleep that leads to increase of sleepiness often culminating in accidents. It has been demonstrated that shift workers' sleepiness can be improved by a proper scheduling of light exposure and optimizing shifts timing. Here, an integrated physiologically-based model of sleep-wake cycles is used to predict adaptation to shift work in different light conditions and for different shift start times for a schedule of four consecutive days of work. The integrated model combines a model of the ascending arousal system in the brain that controls the sleep-wake switch and a human circadian pacemaker model. To validate the application of the integrated model and demonstrate its utility, its dynamics are adjusted to achieve a fit to published experimental results showing adaptation of night shift workers (nā€Š=ā€Š8) in conditions of either bright or regular lighting. Further, the model is used to predict the shift workers' adaptation to the same shift schedule, but for conditions not considered in the experiment. The model demonstrates that the intensity of shift light can be reduced fourfold from that used in the experiment and still produce good adaptation to night work. The model predicts that sleepiness of the workers during night shifts on a protocol with either bright or regular lighting can be significantly improved by starting the shift earlier in the night, e.g.; at 21āˆ¶00 instead of 00āˆ¶00. Finally, the study predicts that people of the same chronotype, i.e. with identical sleep times in normal conditions, can have drastically different responses to shift work depending on their intrinsic circadian and homeostatic parameters.


Language: en

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