NSC Labor Division news Fatigue Research/studies Worker health and wellness Shift work Worker Health and Wellness

New app aims to boost shift workers’ sleep and well-being

Photo: Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health

Melbourne, Australia — A mobile app designed to help shift workers manage their sleep cycles to enhance their health and mood is available for use.

Developed by researchers at Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, the SleepSync app allows users to input work and social schedules, as well as data on sleep/wake time cycles and mood, to create personalized, biological recommendations for sleep timing.

During a two-week trial of the app that involved 27 shift workers, the Monash team found that users slept 29 minutes longer a night, on average. More than 80% of the participants said SleepSync helped improve their quality of sleep, while 70% reported increased ease in falling asleep.

“SleepSync aims to aid behavioral change and provide practical advice to shift workers by providing personalized sleep scheduling recommendations and education,” lead researcher Jade Murray said in a press release. “This has the potential to improve shift workers’ health and well-being and how they function day to day.

“It also has the potential for development and integration with wearable devices, such as smartwatches, and further help minimize the health costs associated with shift work to society.”

Research on the app was published online in the journal Digital Health.

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