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Sleeping During Your Night Shift

Sleeping During Your Night Shift

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

Night shifts, be they 12 or eight hours (1900 to 0700 or 2330 to 0730) are tough to work, even if you work them regularly. It’s just not natural for our body to be up and alert all night, only to (hopefully) be refreshed during the day. It seems that no matter how well you think you sleep during the day, drowsiness sets in at some point during your night’s work. Is napping during your nightly break the solution?

Whether you take your breaks during the day and evening shifts, generally what you do with your break is your business. You can go eat something, spend the time reading quietly, surf the ‘net, or chat with friends. But when it comes to night shift breaks, the rules change; you can’t always do what you want, and that includes napping.

There have been many debates about the idea of nurses napping during their night shift breaks. While some nurses feel it is their right, others feel that this is wrong and inappropriate. Some facilities punish nurses for napping and, yet, others encourage it. Is it so cut and dry? Is it right or wrong?

Sleep Requirements

The human body needs between seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night in order to be fully restored. Already, in our overcharged world, many of us usually get far fewer than the ideal. If we work nights and try to sleep during the day, it’s highly unlikely that we get the same deep quality sleep, let alone, the recommended amount of time.

Working Tired Isn’t Safe

We all have read and heard of accidents caused by tired workers, from automobile accidents to bad judgment calls. Common problems caused by fatigue are:

• Slower cognitive responses and decision-making abilities
• Disruptions in short-term memory
• Difficulty maintaining attention to detail
• Slower motor skills

Next: Tired Nurses Leads to More Mistakes >>

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    over 3 years ago


    Our organism has its own established rhythm. Whichever external factor disturbing the life rhythm of our organism will leave unwanted consequences on our heath. You see, every health issue ever occurring has something to do at its very base with some sort of unbalance. This is the key. As said in this article, some jobs interfere with our organism`s balance as far as the efforts we have to do are concerned. Specialists explain the oxycontin addiction by means of an unbalance as well. If you build your mindset over diseases starting from the balance principle, you will be able to save yourself a lot of pain and see things from a different perspective.

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    almost 4 years ago


    Interesting... Night shift is a life style choice that everybody in the household needs to be on the same page

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    over 4 years ago


    i always feel soooo thirsty during nights work,,so i need much water

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    over 4 years ago


    When i worked night shifts, in my break i would go to my car and take a 25 minute sleep ,with an alarm clock to wake me up..It really improved my energy plus it kept me from eating at night.You know, sleep can be food.for the brain.

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    over 4 years ago


    I couldn't sleep while I was at work, not even on my break. Not only isn't it professional, but dangerous. In the facilities where I have worked the night shift, I was it...the one that all would come to as the only RN so I had to be alert.

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    over 4 years ago


    Sometimes we could only take potty-breaks. Good thing in my place is that the bathroom is inside the breakroom, so we can grab a glass of water after pee.

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    over 4 years ago


    How could you possibly have time to sleep? When I worked nights we were lucky to have time to grab a cup of coffee, let alone take an actual break. Sometimes people would nod off while charting, but that was what the coffee was for. Driving home on the other hand was always a challenge. Sometimes I would blank out for one or two towns or nod off at a long red light. Once I fell asleep at the bank waiting for it to open.

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    over 4 years ago


    we are not allowed to sleep in the night shift.only during break we can sleep.

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    over 4 years ago


    It is hard to stay up all night it ok for the start of the night but gets worse with daybreak.

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    over 4 years ago


    Trying to sleep during the day is hard when there is so much to do.

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