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Title: Circadian disturbances after night-shift work onboard a naval ship
Authors: Goh, V.H.-H. 
Tong, T.Y.-Y. 
Lim, C.-L. 
Low, E.C.-T.
Lee, L.K.-H.
Issue Date: Feb-2000
Citation: Goh, V.H.-H., Tong, T.Y.-Y., Lim, C.-L., Low, E.C.-T., Lee, L.K.-H. (2000-02). Circadian disturbances after night-shift work onboard a naval ship. Military Medicine 165 (2) : 101-105. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate how night duties can affect the circadian rhythms of military personnel working onboard a naval ship. Twenty individuals on a regular day-work schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (serving as controls) and 40 individuals on night-shift duties participated in the study. Salivary melatonin and cortisol profiles were established within two 24-hour periods from 2-hour saliva samplings. Under the condition of abrupt shift in work/rest schedule, the majority of the navy officers (52%) retained their normal melatonin profiles. Twelve percent displayed a right phase shift in melatonin rhythm after night work. Nineteen percent exhibited distortions in the form of abnormal peaks or troughs, and 17% showed signs of disrupted rhythm in the form of low daytime levels of melatonin throughout the sampling period. No consistent relationship was found between the melatonin changes and various work stations of the ship. Prominent changes in the cortisol profile included unexpected peaks or troughs that may be related to the conditions that individuals were exposed to, i.e., high noise level in the engine room, as well as to performing intense tracking operations. The findings of this study (1) show the possible detrimental effects of shift duties on circadian rhythms, (2) highlight a wide interindividual variation in the manner in which the circadian systems respond to an abrupt phase shift in work/rest schedules, and (3) form the basis for further investigations into effective strategies to help military personnel cope with shift work, thereby maintaining health and high working standards while on duty.
Source Title: Military Medicine
ISSN: 00264075
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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