Fatigue Health care/social assistance Health Care Workers

Prioritize sleep, manage fatigue: New tip sheet for health care workers

Photo: Juanmonino/iStockphoto

Darien, IL — Promoting heathy sleep habits among health care workers is the goal of a new tip sheet from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

According to a recent study published in AASM’s Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the percentage of health care workers with acute insomnia rose to 64 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic – up from 44.5% before the public health crisis. In 2020, the academy published a position statement that declared sleep loss an overlooked contributing factor to physician burnout.

The tip sheet features several tips for achieving healthier sleep, including creating a schedule for sufficient rest, reserving your bed for only sleep, avoiding consumption of alcohol and excessive caffeine, staying active, and getting outside.


Workers should also try to bank sleep on their days off, take activity breaks and nap strategically. Additionally, night shift workers can use bright light to help reset their internal clock.

“Health care workers responding to a pandemic face many stressors that have a negative impact on the quantity and quality of their sleep,” Shannon Sullivan, chair of the AASM Public Safety Committee and clinical professor of sleep medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “Following these tips won’t completely make up for the effects of sleep loss or stress, but it’s a good starting place for weary health care workers.”

From the National Safety Council's "Impairment Recognition and Response Training for Supervisors" course. Learn more about this new NSC eLearning which trains frontline supervisors, safety professionals and managers to recognize and properly respond to diverse causes of workplace impairment. © 2021 National Safety Council

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