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Lack of sleep contributes to sub-standard nursing care

Nurses work some crazy hours — and those crazy hours may affect on-the-job performance.

Alertness Solutions surveyed over 2000 nurses in 2007 and found that more than one quarter of the nurses suffered from insomnia.  Over half of the nurses (55%) said they had difficulty falling or staying asleep.   The nurses who reported sleep issues were far more likely to report med errors, charting mistakes and difficulty staying awake at work.

Few of the nurses, though, had sought professional help.  If you’re suffering from insomnia (or just struggling to deal with the night shift), consult your physician.  She may order a sleep aid.  You may also want to discuss the use of over-the-county, natural sleep aids and herbal remedies, such as melatonin, valerian, chamomile and passionflower. 

How do you deal with insomnia?  Has a lack of sleep ever negatively affected your job performance?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
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