April 5, 2023

Effect of night float call on sleep, activity, well-being

Editor's Note

This study from Stanford University finds that anesthesia residents who worked night float call rotations slept the same number of hours, but had less REM sleep, were more fatigued, and had less positive affect. All of these resolved a week after their rotation except fatigue.

A total of 27 anesthesia residents participated in the study that tracked them the week before (baseline), during (night float), and 1 week after (recovery) their night float rotations.

Among the findings:

  • There was no difference in average daily sleep hours between night float and baseline weeks (6.7 vs 6.7 hours), and sleep disturbance was not different among the weeks.
  • Residents had less REM sleep during night float vs baseline weeks (1.1 vs 1.4 hours).
  • Fatigue scores were higher during night float than baseline weeks (58.8 vs 48.6) and did not return to baseline during the recovery weeks (51.0).
  • Positive affect was reduced after night float compared to baseline (39.6 vs 44.8) weeks, but returned to baseline during the recovery weeks (43.6).

The methodology of this study appears to robustly capture psychophysiological data that might be used in quality initiatives, the researchers note.


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