Sleep Disorders and the Workforce


It is beyond the scope of this web site to provide a detailed discussion of the more than 80 unique sleep disorders identified by the American Sleep Disorders Association. Rather, we have tried to focus on a few of the more common disorders that have the greatest impact on productivity and safety in the workplace. These particular disorders can be conceptualized in a framework of intrinsic, extrinsic and circadian sleep disorders.

Intrinsic sleep disorders are disorders that arise from causes within the body such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movements or narcolepsy.

Extrinsic sleep disorders arise from causes or factors outside the body such as poor sleep hygiene, voluntary insufficient sleep or sleep disorders related to alcohol or drugs.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are related to the timing of sleep. They include jet lag, shift work schedule disruption and the delayed or advanced sleep phase syndromes.