FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Nurses are sleeping, on average, less than recommended amounts prior to work, which may have an impact on their health and performance on the job, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in Sleep Health.

Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, Ph.D., R.N., from the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing in New York City, and colleagues used survey data from two cohorts of nurses (1,568 participants) working primarily in acute care hospitals to assess sleep duration before work days and on nonwork days.

The researchers found that nurses reported an average of 414 minutes (less than seven hours) of sleep before a work day and 497 minutes (more than eight hours) before a nonwork day. There was an association noted between short sleep duration and lower ratings of quality of care and patient safety.

“Research on chronic partial sleep deprivation in healthy adults shows that after several days of not getting enough sleep, more than one day of ‘recovery sleep’ — or more than 10 hours in bed — may be needed to return to baseline functioning,” Stimpfel said in a statement. “But considering a nurse’s schedule, which often involves consecutive 12-hour shifts and may only offer one or two days off between shifts, the risk of complete recovery, or ‘catching up,’ is low.”

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