Sleep parameters among offshore workers: an initial assessment in the Campos Basin, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Chronobiol Int. 2004;21(6):889-97. doi: 10.1081/cbi-200036876.


Shift work has potentially adverse effects on health, particularly on sleep. The purpose of the present study was to assess sleep parameters among personnel working in oil and gas offshore installations in the Campos Basin, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One hundred and seventy-nine subjects were asked to complete a sleep questionnaire with multiple-choice answers. Offshore workers were divided into two groups according to their work schedule: (1) fixed daytime workers (n = 86; age: 35.8+/-9.6 yrs) and (2) shift (n = 87) or night (n = 6) workers (total n = 93; age: 37.7+/-9.7 yrs). Shift/night workers reported poor sleep more frequently than the daytime workers (20.4% vs. 1.2%, p < 0.01), as well as habitual difficulty in falling asleep (15.1% vs. 4.7%, p<0.01), long latency of sleep onset (28% vs. 7%, p<0.01), fragmented sleep (45.2% vs. 16.3%, p<0.01), short sleep episodes (44.1% vs. 16.3%, p < 0.01), irregular bedtimes (29.0% vs. 12.8%, p < 0.01), and feeling tired upon awakening (15.1% vs. 3.5%, p < 0.01). Habitual napping and loud snoring were reported twice as often in shift/night than in day workers (p < 0.01). Nightmares, somnambulism, and unpleasant feeling in the legs were equality reported by both groups (p > 0.05). Few offshore workers had sought medical help for their sleep problems. A higher number of shift/night workers reported feelings of sadness compared with day workers (26.9% vs. 9.3%, p < 0.01). The findings of this study show that subjective reports of sleep-related problems are quite common among Brazilian offshore shift workers. Reliance on self-reported sleep problems and a cross-sectional design are the main limitations of our study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm*
  • Sleep* / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires