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Get Most Out of Your Nap

When assigned to shift work, most of us end up with lack of enough sleep. This jet lag feeling is quite common among nurses and makes them to pull along with a lot of struggle. Sleep deprivation is so common in this profession that it is considered to be one of the most widespread issues affecting patient care and also the nurses' health. Moreover, lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Although many take in cups and cups of coffee to overcome this feeling, and top it up with medications to cure shift work sleep disorder, the best possible treatment for sleep deprivation is sleep only. So take a nap whenever you feel low in energy before or during your shift. This will help to rejuvenate and refresh your senses. This can be considered as an investment for better health.

Here are a few tips to get the maximum out of the nap:
  • Try to take a nap early, say 5 p.m., if you work on day shifts.
  • Limit the nap to 30 minutes so that you won't find it difficult to fall asleep when you are getting ready for the regular seven-hour sleep.
  • Drowsiness can controlled to a large extent by a power nap combined with caffeinated drink, but ensure that it does not contain unwanted calories. So skip the beverage containing sugar and opt for coffee or tea.
  • Ensure that you have a 30-minute nap before starting for the night shift, especially if your sleep was earlier in the day. In the office, try to have a 10-minute nap during break so that you will feel more alert and active during the rest of the shift.

If you have trouble falling sleep or maintaining sleep, discuss with your doctor to treat the underlying condition that might be causing the sleeplessness.