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Do You Have Shift Work Sleep Disorder? Excessive Sleepiness? Pharma Hopes So

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Chicago

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Do you work in customer service? Health care? The restaurant industry? You might be suffering from shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) says a new ad campaign from Frazer, PA-based Cephalon who makes the Schedule IV stimulants Provigil and Nuvigil. One out of four people working nontraditional schedules suffers from this hitherto unrecognized epidemic say radio ads which broke this week in Chicago.

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SWSD is characterized by trouble focusing, increased irritability and poor work performance -- think ADHD -- an accompanying web site, wakeupsquad.com, explains. But don't think the answer is renegotiating with your alarm clock. "Just improving your sleep may not improve your ability to cope with shift work," says the site which offers a self-assessment quiz and chance to "take action" and "tell a friend" without saying what that action might be or what you are telling your friend. No drugs are mentioned.

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Of course shift work sleep disorder is only one reason for the national epidemic of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Other reasons are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and narcolepsy -- Wink Wink -- for which Cephalon's drugs are also approved, non-restful sleep (NRS), restless legs syndrome (RLS) and middle-of-the-night insomnia (MOTN). You might also suffer from late night TV addiction syndrome (LNTVAS) or experience daytime sleepiness because --surprise -- what you are doing and the people you are with are Boring. (The reason they say speed makes people more interesting.)

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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