Jefferson University Hospitals

Shift Work Sleep Disorder

If you have trouble sleeping or feel sleepy while awake because you work nights or rotating shifts, it could be a sign of shift work sleep disorder. Sleep medicine specialists of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center will work hard to diagnose your disorder and provide advanced treatment.

To reach an accurate diagnosis, our staff will ask you questions about your work hours and how much you sleep. You may be asked to keep a sleep log to keep track of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. You may also be asked to wear a watch-like device while at home to accurately track your activity habits.

Treatment options include:

  • Bright light therapy, so you are better able to go to bed and fall asleep at a relatively normal time in the evening, and able to wake up and get out of bed at a normal time the next day
  • Melatonin supplements to adjust the timing of your sleep and wake rhythms
  • Medication including stimulants to stay awake at work and hypnotics (sleeping pills) to sleep more comfortably at home
  • Planned sleep schedules to better adjust to the demands of your occupational schedule
  • Sleep hygiene techniques

Established in 1978, the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center was the first such program in the Philadelphia area and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Make an Appointment

Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment with a Jefferson Health specialist.