module 4. individual differences, sleep differences

sleep differences

nurses differ in their ability to tolerate shift work and long work hours.

  • if you have the ability to tolerate shift work without excessive sleepiness, then this is a trait, a stable individual characteristic that is determined genetically.1
  • being able to sleep at different times of the day helps a person adjust better to shift work.2,3 some people have difficulty napping or sleeping during the daytime.
  • your ability to tolerate shift work and extended work hours is also influenced by the amount of sleep you need. most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day: a small percentage need more or less than this. sleep researchers theorize this is an inherited trait. nurses who have a short sleep need are likely able to adjust to shift work more easily.
  • if you are already sleep deprived for any reason, you will be more sensitive to working at night, even if you have had some recovery sleepa in between. a chronic sleep debt (buildup of lack of sleep) leads to poor performance at work.

aincreased duration of sleep to make up for prior sleep deficiency.

module: 4, page 2 of 10