Nurses sleep 83 minutes less before shifts, study finds

Nurses get significantly less sleep before a shift than on their days off, which could pose a threat to patient safety, according to a study published in Sleep Health.

Researchers at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing in New York City analyzed survey data on sleep and nurse demographics from the RN Work Project and a related study. They also reviewed safety and quality data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Nurses reported getting an average of 6 hours and 54 minutes of sleep before a work shift. In contrast, they reported getting an average of 8 hours and 17 minutes of sleep on days off. Researchers also noted a statistically significant association between short sleep duration and lower care quality — as self-reported from nurses — and patient safety ratings.

"Nurses are sleeping, on average, less than recommended amounts before work, which may be impacting their health and performance on the job," researchers concluded. "Healthcare managers may consider interventions to support nurses' sleep to improve patient care."

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