Studies have shown around 3.75 million Americans potentially suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD), a medical condition typically diagnosed among workers of non-traditional hours. That’s around 1% of the U.S. population.
With WCG’s experience in the healthcare industry, we work with companies that provide treatments, devices and other products indicated for hundreds of health conditions each year. But it’s still humbling to learn about a condition like SWSD that affects so many people, and yet so few know they suffer from it.
For greater context, individuals suffering from SWSD typically work rotating shifts, the night shift or on irregular schedules (in other words, not 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), often resulting in excessive sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, headaches and lack of energy. These can develop into more serious conditions such as insomnia or depression, or even result in serious accidents on the job.
To help shine a light on this issue, SharecareNow, powered by WCG published the SharecareNow 10: Shift Work Sleep Disorder, identifying the most prominent online influencers addressing SWSD and other sleep disorders within shift work industries:
- Dr. Michael J. Breus, TheInsomniaBlog.com
- Brandon Peters, M.D., About.com – Sleep
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education Blog
- Lisa Shives, Sleep Better Blog
- Cleveland Clinic, ClevelandClinic.org
- National Sleep Foundation, SleepFoundation.org
- Deborah Kotz, Boston.com – Daily Dose
- Anahad O’Connor, New York Times – The Well Blog
- Dr. Steven Y. Park, DoctorStevenPark.com
- Dr. Catherine Darley, Naturopathic Sleep Medicine Blog
These experts and organizations expose a shift in how patients are seeking resources and information on how to treat their health conditions. In addition to relying on primary care or specialist physicians, patients are increasingly taking an active role in their treatment, seeking out numerous sources of information. And, in the case of chronic or long-term conditions, they’re following regular sources of relevant content like blogs, forums, news and Q&A platforms, and ultimately becoming a more informed patient.
So whether those suffering from SWSD read an article from Anahad O’Connor, or follow Dr. Breus’s blog, or research the condition on ClevelandClinic.org, these influencers have the ability to help patients find the right information, learn how to apply it, and finally receive the support they need.
With the SharecareNow 10 series of influencer lists, the focus is on sharing insights in a way that the average person can benefit and improve their health in a meaningful way. This is how health will be transformed.
Disclaimer: WCG works with a number of pharmaceutical companies, including some that provide treatments for shift work sleep disorder. These clients have not participated in this analysis.