Ginevra Malta, Santo Fruscione, Giuseppe Davide Albano, Leila Zummo, Stefania Zerbo, Daniele Lo Coco
Shift work, including the early start of work, compressed working weeks with 12-hour shifts and night work, especially if prolonged over many years, alters the normal sleep-wake pattern, causing short sleep with reduced quality, daytime dysfunction, and sleepiness. Recently, the effects of shift work on sleep have been investigated more consistently and many studies have supported the existence of an association between shift work and insufficient sleep and many chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. In addition, occupational injuries have also been associated with the negative effects of shift work on sleep. However, future studies are still needed to definitively identify shift work as a causal factor of chronic health dysfunctions, which, inevitably, have repercussions on the work activity as a risk factor in the performance of the same. Considering the small number of studies, it is recommended that future research focus on reducing this knowledge gap.