Nurse Health: Most Nurses Need More Sleep!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 12th, 2016

When circadian rhythms, the body’s natural wake-sleep cycles, are disrupted over prolonged time periods, significant mental and physical problems can result.

Nurses need more sleepThe majority of hospitals require nurses to work 12-hour shifts and many nurses are reporting excessive fatigue from lack of sleep, negatively impacting overall nurse health. This can impact performance, productivity, and safety, on the job and at home. Health experts agree that quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health and most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal functioning. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30% of the nation’s workers are sleeping less than six hours per day.

In addition to fatigue, not getting enough sleep can result in shortened attention spans, memory lapses, and irrational decision-making. Other sleep-related problems are diminished psychomotor skills, slower reaction times, poor communication, irritability, and periods of micro-sleeping.

With the current emphasis on safety and Zero Harm, it is imperative that nurses get 7-8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period…for their sakes and that of their patients.

To learn how to improve nurse health and the health of your entire healthcare organization, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to discuss this affordable and easy-to-implement program.

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