Sleep and Daily Routine for Three Days
|Went to Work
|Went to Bed
|Woke During the Night?
|Reason for Waking
Based on the above table, I learned that I am not getting as much sleep as I should be. Typically, on work days where I must be there by approximately 07:00, I am only getting approximately six hours of sleep, where the optimal level is usually around eight hours (Rogers, 2008). I usually wake during the night to go to the bathroom or because of one of my pets, which further interrupts my sleep schedule. Occasionally, which did not occur any of these three nights, I wake up because of bad dreams or loud noises. In addition to this, I learned that it often takes me over an hour to fall asleep, which further cuts into my sleep schedule and energy for the next day. In terms of my daily routine, I did not skip any meals, and my breakfast schedule was very regular, but I also learned that I do not take a regular lunch break, when I should be. When it is busy on shift, I tend to keep working rather than taking time for myself for lunch, which makes me exhausted and hungry. In her book, “The Effects of Fatigue and Sleepiness on Nurse Performance and Patient Safety”, Ann Rogers states that “rest breaks, napping, exercise, and bright lights may be used to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of fatigue during the work shift” (Rogers, 2008). Therefore, by taking regular breaks throughout the day, I can help to reduce my fatigue and operate more efficiently throughout my shift. Overall I learned that my daily schedule is not healthy in terms of the amount of sleep I get per night, and I believe that if I aimed for more, I would be happier and healthier throughout my daily life.
When going to bed, my typical sleep environment includes a darkened bedroom with all electronics off, for example televisions, radios, and computers. Before sleep, I either read, or play or answer emails and messages on my phone, depending on the day. I try to read before bed every night, so that I am not looking at bright screens before going to sleep, but if I receive urgent messages or emails, I spend time responding to those. I frequently find myself preferring to repeatedly check and respond to messages, rather than reading before bed. Frequently, these messages and emails wake me further, which may be a reason that it takes me so long to fall asleep. In addition to this, occasionally these emails result in my having to make thoughtful responses or decisions, which can lead to stress and anxiety. When I am awake in bed, I sleep with a light clipped to the bed frame, so that the room in minimally lit, to help me fall asleep. I also frequently sleep with my pets, which can sometimes lead to difficult sleep positions or sleep patterns, as they can wake me during the night. I believe that my bedroom environment could be further improved to help me manage my daily routine and sleep schedule. . [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
I have learned that I should arrange my sleep schedule so that I go to bed earlier, in order to achieve eight or more hours of sleep per night, rather than five or six. In her article “What six hours sleep a night does to your face”, Sarah Chalmers states that when the sleep patterns of 11,000 people were studied and their cognitive performance analyzed, there was a link between lack of sleep and reduced mental and physical capacity (Chalmers, 2015). In addition to this, she speaks about how having only six hours of sleep per night can drastically effect your skin, and how you look in general (Chalmers, 2015). From this, I believe that by having more sleep per night, I will work better at my job, and will feel happier as I look better overall. In addition to this, I learned that I frequently wake during the night, which further interrupts my sleep patterns. To combat this, I believe that I should limit the water that I drink before bed, so that I do not need to wake up for the bathroom in the middle of the night, since this appears to be my most typical reason for waking. In addition to this, I believe that I should prevent my pets from sleeping in my bed, as they can make sleeping positions uncomfortable, and they can wake me during the night. If I wish for them to remain in my bedroom at night, I should supply them with their own beds on the floor, and reinforce them to sleep in that. Through this, we will both sleep better during the night. Additionally, I learned that it takes me a long time to fall asleep after going to bed every night. I think than rather than continuing activities in my bed, I should partake in them outside the bedroom, before retiring for the night. I believe that shining lights and forcing myself to stay up in my bed to complete activities is effecting my ability to easily fall asleep. Further, I believe that I should limit my screen time before bed to help myself fall asleep; I believe that I should turn off my phone at a certain time every night, and utilize an actual alarm clock instead for waking up in the morning. Finally, to help myself sleep, I think that I should try and limit the amount of coffee I have later in the afternoon. In her book, “The Effects of Fatigue and Sleepiness on Nurse Performance and Patient Safety”, Ann Rogers states that caffeine is an excellent countermeasure to exhaustion, as often occurs during and after work (Rogers, 2008). She also states that caffeine’s onset generally occurs 15-30 minutes after ingestion and lasts up to 3-4 hours (Rogers, 2008). By drinking coffee later in the afternoon to stay alert, I am likely effecting my sleeping schedule later in the evening, as I am still under the effects of the caffeine. In terms of improving my overall health, I believe that by increasing my amount of daily sleep, taking regular and daily breaks for meals, and limiting my screen time throughout the day, I can live a happier and healthier life. . [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
The American Nurses Association, or ANA, believes that all employers should provide nurses a work schedule which allows for them to have adequate rest and recuperation between scheduled work and that provides them with sufficient compensation and staffing systems to foster a safe and healthy environment (American Nurses Assocation, 2006). They believe that employers should sufficiently pay and schedule their staff such that they do not feel compelled to have to seek overtime or extra shifts for additional funds, in order to ensure that they are always operating at their best (American Nurses Assocation, 2006). This position statement was produced as a result of the well-documented relationship between nurse fatigue and an increased risk of nurse error (American Nurses Assocation, 2006). In particular, a 2004 IOM report stated that there was strong evidence linking long work hours, for example more than 12 hours in a 24-hour span, or more than 60 hours in 7 days, with: slowed reaction time, less attention to detail, lapses in judgement, compromised problem solving, reduced motivation, and decreased energy levels (Institute of Medicine, 2004). Further, Rogers, Hwang, Scott, Aiken, and Dinges found that the likelihood of making an error on the job increased by three times when nurses worked shifts exceeding 12.5 hours in length (Rogers, Hwang, Scott, Aiken, & Dinges, 2004). As inadequate sleep and the resulting fatigue has major implications on the health and safety of both nurses, patients, and even employers, nurses and employers must collaborate to reduce the risks of nurse fatigue associated with shift work and long hours.
My current employer appears to somewhat follow the American Nurses Association’s recommendations for a safe and healthy workplace. My shifts typically last less than 12 hours, unless there is an emergency, or I pick up an extra shift. However, unlike the position of the ANA, my workplace seems to encourage nurses to pick up overtime and extra shifts for the sake of money. While the position does not pay poorly, it is not enough that people who have families with large expenses do not struggle. In fact, I frequently see coworkers taking overtime shifts in order to pay for upcoming family vacations, holidays, or even birthday and Christmas presents. In addition to this, I have also found myself occasionally taking extra shifts to earn more money when I feel that I need it. During these weeks where myself or my coworkers work excessive hours, I notice the toll that it takes on mine and their bodies. In particular, when I complete multiple long shifts in a row, I notice that I become very drowsy and inattentive in the mid-afternoon, and that I drink a lot of coffee to get through it. This is also something I have noticed among my coworkers when they are working more hours than usual. As stated by Rogers, the effects of insufficient sleep can include: cognitive problems, mood alterations, reduced job performance, reduced motivation, and increased safety risks (Rogers A. E., 2008). Therefore, by myself and my coworkers taking on additional shifts, and as a result, sleeping less, we are in fact not only endangering ourselves, but our patients as well. While my employer appears to abide by the American Nurses Association’s position in terms of adequate pay and assigned hours, their encouragement of overtime and extra shifts for additional pay may violate what they propose. In addition to this, my current workplace encourages working through meal breaks in order to accomplish things more quickly. While this may be satisfactory for short tasks that minimally cut into break times, it is frequently for longer tasks that cause staff to work through their breaks entirely. As we read in the book by Rogers, breaks and meal times are essential for temporarily eliminating workplace fatigue, and by ignoring them, it places the staff in positions of exhaustion, where their judgement and attentiveness may be compromised (Rogers A. E., 2008). Overall, my workplace appears to partially conform to the ANA’s recommendations for safe and healthy workplaces, however their encouragement of overtime and working through breaks may violate them entirely.
I feel that employers and nurses alike should step up and collaborate to create a schedule that allows for staff to both work the required hours, as well as obtain adequate rest between shifts. To do this, the American Nurses Association recommends emphasizing a culture of safety in the work environment (American Nurses Association, 2014). If an employer is not conforming to the recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the employees should step up and confront them in order to better their working conditions. As research shows that prolonged working hours can hinder a nurse’s performance in terms of greater likelihood of errors, diminished problem solving, and slower reaction time, as well as damaging their own health, this should be a priority for all nurses working in the field (American Nurses Association, 2014). To help to create fair and appropriate schedules with employers, nurses should attempt to involve themselves in the design of work schedules so that they are regular and predictable, limited to 40 hours per week, limited to less than 12 hours per shift, and so that they eliminate the use of mandatory overtime (American Nurses Association, 2014). In addition to this, nurses should take a stand to promote frequent and uninterrupted breaks during working shifts, and should encourage each other to manage their own health and rest, including adequate sleep, stress management, satisfactory nutrition, and good exercise habits. Through exercising these rights throughout their workplaces, nurses can help to ensure both their own wellbeing, as well as their patients’. . < Click Essay Writer to order your essay >
American Nurses Assocation. (2006, December 8). Assuring Patient Safety: The Employers’ Role in Promoting Healthy Nursing Work Hours.
Chalmers, S. (2015, May 17). What six hours sleep a night does to your face.
Institute of Medicine. (2004). Keeping Patients Safe.
Rogers, A. E. (2008, April). The Effects of Fatigue and Sleepiness on Nurse Performance and Patient Safety.Rogers, A., Hwang, W., Scott, L., Aiken, L., & Dinges, D. (2004, July). Health Affairs.