Scrubs

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

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1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
We know what you’re thinking: “I don’t need therapy!” Well, don’t think of it that way. NASA’s astronauts and ground staff often go for CBT to help them adjust to shift work, so if they do it, why not nurses? You need sleep in order to do your job well and take care of your patients, and if you’re struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, CBT might be worth a try.

It’s all about developing healthy patterns of behavior. CBT can provide you with relaxation skills and techniques, and help you modify your bedtime behavior as well as other lifestyle factors that affect your sleep. Studies have shown that CBT is one of the most effective methods for treating insomnia. And if you suffer from chronic neck or back pain—not uncommon in the nursing profession—CBT can help you sleep better. For more information about CBT, check out the NACBT (National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists).

Next: 2. Sleep assessment →

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, WeightWatchers.ca 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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