3 ways to break out of the “sleepy nurse” rut


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A good night’s sleep is an elusive dream for many nurses. Rotating shifts, night shifts, double shifts, 12-hour shifts…these all play havoc with your circadian rhythm—your built-in 24-hour clock that determines the daily patterns of your life.

So, even though you know you should be sleeping, your mind and body simply can’t do it. Add in the stresses of your nursing job and the emotional baggage that you often bring home with you. You worry about that patient who wasn’t doing so well when you got off shift. You regret something you said to a patient or coworker. You can’t remember if you charted everything you were supposed to. If your mind is still going over what happened at work, falling asleep is going to be a real challenge. It might seem as if your nursing career is simply not conducive to restful sleep.

It’s time to spend some time exploring ways you can sleep better every day—and every night—and not only during your nursing career, but well beyond.

Here are three suggestions to get you started.

Next: 1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) →

Cynthia Dusseault
Cynthia Dusseault is a professional freelance writer with both a health and an education background. A former medical radiation technologist and elementary school teacher, she realized that no matter what she did, she was drawn to any task that involved writing, so she decided, over a decade ago, to write full-time. Since then, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites including Nursing PRN, National Review of Medicine, University Affairs, Your Health, Education Leaders Today, Today's Parent, Children's Playmate, and many more. She has written about topics such as asthma, genital herpes, circumcision, teleradiology, body art, learning disabilities and exercise trends, and she absolutely adores the fact that writing—particularly doing the research for the articles she writes—makes her a lifelong learner.

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