Nurses get nearly 90 minutes less sleep before their shifts compared with days off.

Researchers at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing examined results of separate surveys analyzing responses from nearly 1,600 nurses regarding personal sleep habits and quality of patient care. Findings showed that the nurses slept an average of six hours, 54 minutes on nights before scheduled work shifts and eight hours, 17 minutes before nonwork days – a deficit of 83 minutes.

Further, the researchers found that getting less sleep before working “may have an impact on their health and performance on the job.

In addition to commute times and personal responsibilities, researchers cited that shift work and 12-hour shifts in nursing as possible triggers for nurses getting less sleep. The body’s circadian clock can be impaired when the body is active at times when it believes it should be at rest. “It is in everyone’s interest to have nurses well-rested so they can perform their critical function within the health care system and keep patients safe,” said the release.

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