Behavioural techniques for enhancing alertness and performance in shift work

Patricia E. Penn, Richard R. Bootzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper reviews behavioural and cognitive methods for increasing alertness, enhancing performance, and decreasing long-term negative consequences due to shift work. Methods having the most potential for effective intervention include the short-term alerting effects of the optimal timing of work breaks, social activity during breaks, and sensory stimulation. Stress coping techniques and sleep hygiene information for workers and their families have the most potential for addressing long-tcrm effects of shift work. Recommendations for areas requiring further investigation include the altering effects of bright light, fresh air, and cold water; performance enhanccmcnt through psychophysiological self-regulation and imagery; and the impact on performance of second jobs and family responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Alertness
  • Relaxation
  • Shiji work
  • Sleep
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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