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Sleeping During Your Night Shift

Sleeping During Your Night Shift

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

If we throw in the nursing aspect, according to Medical errors: the scope of the problem (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), we may see issues that include:

Medication errors (wrong medication, wrong dose)
• Not noticing issues during assessment
• Not initiating proper interventions in response to assessments
• Not following proper isolation precautions
• Inability to follow precise details
• Mishandling of sharp or dangerous items

So, if being tired can be dangerous, why are some administrators – and some nurses – so dead set against allowing sleepy nurses to nap during their breaks?

Types of Naps

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says there are three types of naps:

1. Planned nap – you know you will need to be awake later so you nap to store your reserves

2. Emergency nap – often a “power nap” that you take when you’re exhausted and you need to just close your eyes for a few moments

3. Habitual nap – you plan to nap at a certain time each day, whether you feel you need it or not For the most part, nurses do take planned naps before going in to work at night, but it’s the power napping that seems to be the issue here. A power nap of 30 minutes or so may be just what a nurse needs to effectively return to finish his or her shift. In fact, the NSF says, “A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”

The NSF also offers the following information regarding the benefits of napping:

• “Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
• Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.
• Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.”

So, why is it that napping is a punishable offense, from reprimands to outright dismissal, in some facilities?


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    about 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


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

  • P_large_vyuk_033f000056942d0b_max50


    about 4 years ago


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

  • Dsc01443_max50


    about 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


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

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


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

  • Avt_claudiao_claudiao_large_max50


    over 4 years ago


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

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