New Delhi: A new study identified that medical centres nurses were at a higher risk of chronic insomnia and showed symptoms of common sleep disorders. The study was published in the journal ‘Sleep’.
“We were surprised by the number of nurses potentially suffering from common sleep disorders, most notably, chronic insomnia and shift work disorder,” said lead author Francis Christian, a second-year fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The results showed that 49 per cent of participating nurses at an academic medical centre averaged less than seven hours of sleep per night, and the overall average night sleep time was 6.6 hours.
Symptoms consistent with chronic insomnia were identified in 31 per cent of nurses, and excessive daytime sleepiness was found in 4.5 per cent of them. 27 per cent of nurses used medications to help them sleep, and 13 per cent reported using medications to stay awake.
Symptoms indicative of shift work disorder were present in 31 per cent of nurses. About 18.5 per cent of nurses also had a moderate-to-severe risk for obstructive sleep apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
The study involved an online survey of 1,165 nurses at a tertiary care medical centre. Questions were asked about topics such as their sleep schedule and medications. Questionnaires such as the STOP-BANG and Epworth Sleepiness Scale were used to assess the nurses for sleep disorder symptoms.
“Nurses are at increased risk for circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders such as shift work disorder,” said Christian. “Recognition needs to take place so that we can screen appropriately and make scheduling modifications to help alleviate the burden of shift work disorder among nurses,” Christian added.