Nightmare Night Shifts
After working a night shift your body clock finds it hard to adjust to sleeping during the day time. If you are working night shifts constantly then your body will adjust to the change as you have the same sleep pattern every day. It is different for nurses, when you work a night shift for four nights and then switch back to days this does not give your body clock enough time to switch over. If you are sleeping during the day you should try make your room as dark as possible, the amount of sleep you should get varies from person to person so find out what amount of sleep your body needs and try to adapt your routine to this.
Lack of sleep can lead to health problems and stress is usually associated with it. Here are some suggestions for nurses who are finding it hard to switch off after a long shift in the Hospital.
If you are lying in bed staring at the ceiling then get up and try to do something for at least twenty minutes. After this get back into bed and try again. There is no point in lying in bed and worrying about not being able to sleep.
Another suggestion is to try not catch up on sleep, the pressure to go asleep will be gone and you will be awoken too easily. You should restrict your sleep to your regular amount of hours and this should aid a better night's sleep.
Avoiding caffeine is an obvious but you should also avoid alcohol. Alcohol can interrupt your sleep later on in your sleep cycle. So if you are having trouble nodding off, don't have a drink to help you sleep.
Most nurses would never consider going to work after consuming a few alcoholic beverages. Yet some nurses regularly work a double shift or go without sleep for 24 hours. This is common practice for nurses on the first night shift change. Studies show that if a nurse has been awake for 17 hours straight their cognitive and psychomotor or physical performance deteriorates to the equivalent of someone with a blood alcohol level 0.05%, which is roughly 1-2 alcoholic drinks.
Sleeping is vital for every human no matter what their profession is, but where does this leave nurses who cannot avoid night shifts and long hours? Nurses cannot leave their patients if there are no other nurses to cover them after their shift is over. Experienced nurses believe they are more inclined to make a mistake from being too tired in comparison to having too many patients to attend to.
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