Sleepy Nurses Increase Medication Errors

A new study has found striking links between troubled sleep and on-the-job errors in the nursing profession. 

Out of 2,082 nurses surveyed, more than a quarter of them suffer from insomnia, and more than half suffer from a combination of difficulty falling asleep, and trouble staying asleep throughout the night.

The survey found that your chances of getting the wrong medication from a nurse who has trouble "staying asleep" increases by about 50 percent, compared to a nurse who sleeps well.

And, nurses who have difficulty "falling asleep" make almost twice as many mistakes on patient charts as nurses who are normal sleepers. Unfortunately, only 30 percent of sleep-deprived health care professionals ever seek treatment for their sleep problems.

Chronic insomnia can be due to increased blood levels of stress hormones. Essentially, if you have a stressful job your body simply keeps responding to the stress 24/7 without shutting off.

Learning how to de-stress and "unplug," can be an essential life skill that goes way beyond increasing your own health and well-being. It may even save someone else's life, depending on what profession you're in. If you or someone you know suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleep, please review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep.


EurekAlert June 15, 2007