Individual differences in the subjective health effects of shiftwork are reviewed. Circadian regulation and brain restitution (sleep) are the crucial mechanisms by which inter-individual factors can affect tolerance to shiftwork. On the other hand, shiftworkers can use different coping mechanisms by trying to schedule their lives and especially their sleeping habits to work at unusual hours. Individual factors related to shiftwork tolerance are discussed in two groups; first, the factors which affect primarily the circadian adjustment; and, second, the factors which mainly relate to the ability to sleep at unusual hours. The significance of circadian adjustment in shiftwork tolerance is outlined.