Sleep, shift work, and occupational health: Implications and interventions
Tracey Sletten, PhD (Australia)
Senior Research Fellow, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health
School of Psychological Sciences
Monash University, Australia
Keynote Summary: This presentation will feature current research on the adverse health and safety implications of circadian misalignment and sleep loss in numerous real-world and occupational settings, and practical countermeasures. This will highlight inter-individual differences in circadian physiology and advances in our understanding of individual responses to altered sleep and work schedules, along with novel interventions for alertness management and circadian misalignment, particularly among shift workers.
Biosketch: Dr Tracey Sletten is a Senior Research Fellow with the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Australia. Her PhD research (University of South Australia) examined the effects of shift work and fatigue in occupational settings. She was awarded an EU Marie Curie Fellowship for postdoctoral training at the University of Surrey (UK) and held a Visiting Research Fellow position with the Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Dr Sletten is publishing key research on sleep, circadian misalignment, alertness and psychological health in shift workers, inter-individual differences in circadian physiology, and the applied benefits of countermeasures to sleep loss in occupational settings. Dr Sletten is recognised as one of Australia’s foremost researchers in sleep and circadian disruption in shift workers, leading large-scale trials of sleep, circadian phase, cognitive functioning, and psychological health in multiple unique industry settings. This includes assessments of nursing and medical staff, heavy vehicle drivers, manufacturing and expeditioners over-wintering in Antarctica as an analog for long-duration space missions. Dr Sletten is leading globally recognised research in the Australian aviation industry providing world-first sleep, circadian and alertness data in flight and cabin crew during the longest passenger flights in history.
Dr Sletten has held a consultative role within industry, conducting training and education, analysing work shifts and conducting fatigue assessments for numerous shift working operations in Australia and internationally. Dr Sletten is a former Chair of the European Sleep Research Society Forum for Women in Sleep Research and co-chair of the Australasian Sleep Association Chronobiology Council.