People who work nontraditional work hours, such as 11 PM to 7 AM, are more likely to develop the chronic condition that disrupts their sleep.

“This discovery has many major implications, including the need to identify engineering counter-measures to help prevent these crashes from happening,” says Praveen Edara, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Missouri.

“Such measures can include the availability of highway rest areas, roadside and in-vehicle messaging to improve a driver’s attention, and how to encourage drivers who may have a late-night work shift to take other modes of transportation, including public transit or ride-share services.”

Edara says researchers based the analysis on data collected from a real-world driving study for the second Strategic Highway Research Program established by the U.S. Congress.

As the demand for 24/7 business operations has increased in recent years to meet customer needs during all hours of the day and across multiple time zones, the traditional work day—once defined as 9 AM to 5 PM—has shifted for many people to include evening and night shifts, causing sleeping difficulties and leading to shift work sleep disorder.

Read the full article about shift work sleep disorder by Eric Stann at Futurity.