Night shift nurses more likely to have poor sleep habits

June 11, 2007

Nurses who work the night shift are more likely to have poor sleep habits, a practice that can increase the likelihood of committing serious errors that can put the safety of themselves as well as their patients at risk, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

Arlene Johnson, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, surveyed 289 licensed nurses while they were working on the night shift in the hospital setting, and classified the subjects as either sleep deprived or not sleep deprived. The results showed that 56 percent of the sample was sleep deprived.

"Reduction in the amount of sleep predisposes individuals to sleep deprivation, resulting in poor psychomotor performance," said Johnson. "Nurses who work the night shift may be particularly subject to sleep deprivation because of irregularity of sleep hours and disruptions in the circadian cycle. Poor psychomotor performance has been associated with an increase in error, which can be translated into an unsafe work environment. The identification of sleep deprivation in nurses is essential for maintaining safe working conditions."

The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: With overnight shifts and neutral accents, call centers provide insight into the future

Related Stories

Air controller study shows chronic fatigue

August 10, 2015

Air traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to a study the government has kept secret for nearly four ...

Access to electricity is linked to reduced sleep

June 19, 2015

Blame smartphone alerts, constant connectivity and a deluge of media for our society's sleep deprivation. But the root cause of why we get less sleep now than our ancestors did could come down to a much simpler reason: artificial ...

Jab-free snore reminder is gently delivered via pillow

February 7, 2014

( —Those sleep partners who are irritated enough to jab and those snoring victims who are startled out of sleep by those jabs all know there has to be a more humane way of curbing the noise. Could one answer lie ...

Odd work schedules pose risk to health

April 17, 2011

(AP) -- Reports of sleeping air traffic controllers highlight a long-known and often ignored hazard: Workers on night shifts can have trouble concentrating and even staying awake.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.