Relief for Shift Workers Under Way

November 26, 2001 ( - Relief may be at hand for the 10 million odd shift workers who suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) - a syndrome that leaves workers sleepy on the job and alert during off hours.

According to researchers at Stanford University Medical Center, sufferers of SWSD are also at greater risk for long-term health problems, such as high blood pressure, weight gain and gastrointestinal trouble.

Stanford University researchers are beginning a clinical trial on the non-stimulant drug Modafinil to see if it might enable workers to remain alert while at work, without feeling over-stimulated or unable to sleep during off-hours.

Modafinil is currently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. The research is part of a nationwide clinical trial currently accepting volunteers.

The 12-week double-blind trial will involve monitoring workers’ response to the drug both as they continue their regular work schedule and through several sessions in the sleep laboratory.

For information about volunteering, contact 877/NITE-JOB