As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health care workers are among those who are suffering the most. Demanding hours, varying schedules, workplace stresses and burnout are pushing them to their limits to the point of exhaustion. In fact, in a study of frontline health care workers in the U.S., the rate of acute insomnia among respondents increased from 44.5% before COVID-19 to 64% in the early months of the pandemic.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is part of a system-wide approach to help health care providers prioritize sleep and better manage on-the-job fatigue. Some easy-to-follow routine changes recommended by the AASM are:
- creating a schedule that prioritizes sufficient sleep;
- avoiding alcohol before bed or excessive caffeine intake;
- maintaining a sleep-wake rhythm by staying active outdoors;
- napping strategically throughout a long shift;
- banking sleep on days off; and
- using fatigue checklists or cross-checking procedures with colleagues