School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Professor Greg Roach, Associate Professor Charli Sargent
Doctor of Philosophy
Andrew Reiter

Research Details

Thesis Name

Night-shift Work: The Effects of Chronotype on Cognitive Performance, Eating and Sleep

Thesis Abstract

Chronotype is a measure of an individual's sleep-wake pattern: early-types wake up and go to bed early, whereas late-types wake up and go to bed late. As circadian misalignment is believed to underlie many issues experienced by night-shift workers, chronotype may impact an individual's ability to cope with night-shift work. My research aim is to examine the impacts of chronotype on the cognitive performance, hunger, eating and sleep of night-shift workers through a series of laboratory studies. The key outcome will be evidence to support the development of chronotype-specific strategies to improve adaptation to night-shift work.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Shiftwork is part of the regular working life of more than one million Australians, with many rosters including night-shifts. However many workers find it difficult to sleep during the day and perform tasks at night. Accidents and injuries occur almost twice as frequently during night-shifts, and the physical and mental health of night-shift workers is worse than that of day-shift workers. Understanding the impact of chronotype on ability to cope with night-shift will facilitate development of improved techniques to manage the health and safety of night-shift workers.


Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship