Shift Work

Cause and Effect Essay
In the article, “Sleeping Your Way to the Top,” by Sora Song, the author highlights the results of a cognitive sleep study that tested the effects of restricted sleep. She shares her concern that Americans have become a culture that is used to being chronically sleep deprived; and thereby, elaborates further upon a persons need for a good night’s sleep. However, she reveals in the article, the most common reason we shortchange ourselves of sleep is work; more specifically, shift work, which is any type of work that follows a work schedule beyond the traditional “9 to 5” business day. Excessive sleepiness has been the primary complaint for millions of American shift workers. As a result, shift work causes disrupted sleep schedules, reduced performance at work, and difficulty with relationships, which are the major negative effects of sleep deprivation.
Disrupted sleep schedules have contributed greatly to sleep deprivation for the shift worker. Seeking answers, the sleep study Song writes of, considered the negative effects of restrictive sleep for the shift worker. The studies’ process reduced the sleep time of the test subjects by 8, 6, and 4 hours a night, which corresponds to comparable shift work schedules. The study reveals that we continue to adapt to changing sleep times, while suffering major fatigue and lacking alertness. The compelling results show that “the human brain is only capable of about 16 hours of wakefulness a day, going beyond that, brain activity cannot function as efficiently, as accurately, or as well,” as stated by sleep expert David Dinges, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Another adverse effect of sleep deprivation caused by shift work is reduced performance at work. Generally, the related negative aspects are poor concentration, errors, absenteeism, accidents, injuries, and fatalities. These all become very significant issues, when considering the multitudes of shift workers who work…

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