Strategies for Improving Sleep Health in Nurses
Hanvey, Jacquelynn K.
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Loss of sleep affects an individual both physically and mentally. Health professionals with poor quality of sleep are at risk for patient medication errors and poor patient outcomes. Understanding the different dynamics of what may develop because of lack of sleep may motivate nurses to improve sleep health. Ways for improving sleep health are very basic and effective when addressed in the correct manner. Nurses, as well as other healthcare professionals, especially those who work irregular or night shifts, are at risk of sleep loss and/or sleep deprivation. This project, which was introduced in the style of a presentation/discussion, provided an evidence-based educational power point related to the effects of poor sleep quality, and sleep health promotion activities to enhance sleep health at a local 135 bed community hospital in Central Idaho. Thirteen nurses and eleven nursing students participated (n=24). Responses from participants were similar in that they all agreed they were affected by sleep loss. Nurses and the administrative staff must acknowledge and advocate for the improvement of sleep health. Improving sleep health may enhance personal health and work effectiveness and quality. Administrative personnel need to revisit the 12 hour shift policy, as well as investigate through on-site surveys the impact of shift work, staff meeting scheduling for night shift staff, overtime/call-back policies, and staffing policies that are sleep health-friendly.