Sleep Disturbance in Female Flight Attendants and Teachers

Flight attendants (FAs) may experience circadian disruption due to travel during normal sleep hours and through multiple time zones. This study investigated whether FAs are at higher risk for sleep disturbance compared to teachers, as assessed by questionnaire, diary, and activity monitors. Sleep/wake cycles of 45 FAs and 25 teachers were studied. For one menstrual cycle, participants wore an activity monitor and kept a daily diary. Sleep metrics included total sleep in the main sleep period (MSP), sleep efficiency (proportion of MSP spent sleeping), and nocturnal sleep fraction (proportion of sleep between 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. home time). Relationships between sleep metrics and occupation were analyzed with mixed and generalized linear models. Both actigraph and diary data suggest that FAs sleep longer than teachers. However, several actigraph indices of sleep disturbance indicated that FAs incurred significant impairment of sleep compared to teachers. FAs were more likely than teachers to have poor sleep efficiency [adjusted odds ratio (OR) for lowest quartile of sleep efficiency = 1.9, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.2 - 3.0] and to have a smaller proportion of their sleep between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. home time (adjusted OR for lowest quartile of nocturnal sleep fraction = 3.1, CI 1.1 -9.0). Study FAs experienced increased sleep disturbance compared to teachers, which may indicate circadian disruption.


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  • Accession Number: 01607977
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 27 2016 1:37PM