December 17, 2007 | | Comments 0
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Driving under the influence of drowsiness

It’s no secret that nursing can do a number on your health. Sore backs from lifting patients and poor eating habits because of strange schedules and lack of time, to name a couple examples, can have a detrimental effect on your health. Add driving under the influence of drowsiness to the list.

According to a new study published in the December 1 issue of SLEEP, staff nurses who work extended hours, work at night, struggle to remain awake at work, or obtain less sleep are more likely to experience a drowsy driving episode. The data was compiled during a four-week span and focused on 895 nurses, who reported, on average, one drowsy driving episode out of every four shifts worked. Additionally, 281 accidents or near car accidents were reported during the study.

Sleep restriction and sleep fragmentation are listed as the two main causes of drowsy driving. To combat the problem, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends getting enough sleep, taking breaks while driving, consuming caffeine, avoiding alcohol, and avoid late-night driving.

Here is a link to the full press release with further information: Sleep Study

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Filed Under: Care for the caregiver

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Michael Briddon About the Author: Mike is the executive editor of the nursing, accreditation, and patient safety markets at HCPro, Inc. He's a former sportswriter and a passionate Syracuse basketball fan.

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