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The sleep patterns of offshore control-room operators were compared with those of personnel carrying out similar work onshore, taking into account individual differences in age, number of years of shiftwork, and neuroticism. The dependent variables were self-reported sleep quality and duration for day-shift (D-S) and night-shift (N-S) work, and during leave periods (L-P). Offshore workers reported longer N-S sleep duration, and lower D-S sleep quality than those onshore, but the two groups did not differ in L-P measures. The effects of environmental differences (onshore versus offshore) on sleep patterns were more marked than those of the two different shift systems (weekly rotation and fast rotation) in operation onshore. Age was negatively related to both duration and quality of sleep; over and above age, number of years of shiftwork was negatively related to sleep duration. Neuroticism was also negatively related to sleep duration and, more strongly, to sleep quality. These findings are discussed in relation to the literature on shiftwork and sleep in general, and the characteristics of the offshore environment in particular.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





827 - 844


Age Factors, Analysis of Variance, Humans, Male, Neurotic Disorders, Petroleum, Sleep, Work Schedule Tolerance