Are Students with a Negative Impression on Shift Work Morning-Typed?

  •  Kiyoko Kawasaki    
  •  Kai Wada    
  •  Miyo Nakade    
  •  Hitomi Takeuchi    
  •  Tomoko Wakamura    
  •  Tetsuo Harada    


This study explores whether morning-typed persons are aware that they are maladapted for shift-work. An
integrated questionnaire was administrated to 637 students aged 18-35 yrs attending university or physical
therapy training school in May, June and October, 2012. A total of 617 participants (97%) answered the
questionnaire that included questions on sleep habits such as bedtime, the diurnal type scale by Torsvall and
Åkerstedt (1980), questions on mental health (irritation, anger, feeling out of control, depression) and meals
content and timing, and questions on experience with and attitude towards shift work, including the question,
“Would you be able to mentally and physically withstand doing shift work for one year, if given the chance?”
Participants that answered “Absolutely never” to this question (DIFFICULT Group) showed significantly higher
scores on the diurnal-type scale (more morning-typed) (p=0.005) and subjectively evaluated themselves as
“more morning-typed persons” (p<0.001) than those that chose other answers (EASIER Group). The
DIFFICULT Group showed significantly earlier bedtimes (p=0.017) and earlier sleep onset times (p=0.016), and
tended to show earlier wake-up times (p=0.119) than the EASIER Group. The DIFFICULT Group had breakfast
(p<0.001) and dinner (p=0.047) at more regular times than the EASIER Group and had nutritionally well
balanced breakfast with higher frequency than the EASIER Group (p=0.023). These results may support the
hypothesis that persons with a negative attitude to rotating shift work are more morning-typed than those without
such a negative attitude towards shift work.

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