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PositiveTip for

Fatigue Impacts Healthcare Provider Quality of Work

Sleepy docs experience 2X more lapses of attention than when rested.

Do you perform at your best when you are sleep deprived? None of us do, including our healthcare providers, according to a sentinel event alert from the Joint Commission. When residents work recurring 24 hours shifts, there were 36% more adverse events than when they worked only 16 hours at a time. They also made five times the number of significant diagnostic mistakes. 

PositiveTip: Adequate sleep is necessary for optimal performance. No one can claim an exception!

Help, I Can't Sleep!

The National Sleep Foundation just released the results of its 2011 survey of Sleep in America®. Sixty percent of those polled reported that they have a problem sleeping every night or almost every night. And they don’t feel rested when its time to get up.

Part of the problem may be our reluctance to shut off the world at bedtime. A full 95% of us don't un-plug from our electronic devices before trying fall asleep. We watch TV, stay at the computer screen, play one more video game or continue to text within the hour before going to bed. 

It is well known that artificial light suppresses the hormone melatonin, which helps promote sleep. The light from all of our screens may be keeping us from having a restful sleep.

The Media and Sleep

Girl sleeping with headphonesA report from the Kaiser Family Foundation tells us:

There is good reason to believe that different media formats (e.g. television viewing, Internet use, cell phone use, electronic game-playing) have different kinds of effects on sleep.

Different types of content within these media formats presumably also have different effects—indeed it is possible that certain media content in certain formats can function as a healthy part of bedtime routines.

Benefits of Starting School Later in the Morning

In the 1997-98 school year, the Minneapolis School District changed the starting time of its seven high schools to 8:40 AM. and the dismissal time to 3:20 PM. Prior to the change, classes began at 7:15 AM and dismissed at 1:45 PM. Researchers evaluated the student benefits, after this change in hours had been in place for five years.Teen girl sleeping on books.

Attendance rates improved for all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students in the district. The greatest rate of improvement was for 9th grade students.

PositiveTip for

Increase Your Performance by Getting Adequate Sleep

Feeling tired & out of gas? Sleepiness interferes with daily activities in 1/3 of Americans.

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal performance and health. Without adequate rest on a regular basis the risk increases for:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Inferior work performance
  • Risk of injury
  • Irritability

Those who responded to the 2009 National Sleep Foundation poll indicated if they sleep less than 6 hours compared to 8 hours or longer they were less likely to:

  • Exercise (28% vs. 8%)
  • Eat a healthy diet (23% vs. 7%)
  • Work efficiently and well (21% vs. 9%)
  • Experience positive leisure time activities (30% vs. 7%)

PositiveTip: Sleep 7-9 hours on most days to experience your best!