Sleep is an essential component of our health. Every doctor or healthcare professional recommends adults and children receive an adequate amount of sleep to support mental functions and our physical bodies.

But there is an irony to nurses who recommend sleep to their patients according to a recent study. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found nurses are more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation or sleep disorders.

The results reported almost half of participating nurses do not achieve the recommended seven hours of sleep at night. And 31% of nurses experience symptoms of chronic insomnia, including excessive sleepiness during the day and risk for depression or anxiety.

The vulnerability that comes with sleep deprivation

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t offer any solutions in terms of how to address sleep disorders among nurses. It’s especially challenging due to the nature of nurses’ shifts and lifestyles in the medical field. They have to be on their feet for hours and work unusual hours to treat patients.

It makes nurses specifically vulnerable to work-related injuries, such as:

  • Overexertion and bodily reaction, through lifting or bending
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Contract with sharp objects, such as needles
  • Violence during patient interactions
  • Exposure to dangerous substances

And as nurses experience less sleep, it’s more likely they will suffer an injury. It makes it crucial for hospitals to ensure nurses receive plenty of breaks on shift and limited contact during their break days. Hospitals also need to follow the proper procedure when a nurse is injured.

In Pennsylvania, nurses file for workers’ compensation to cover expenses such as medical treatments or lost wages. To claim workers’ compensation, you need to report the injury to your employer and seek treatment as soon as possible. It helps you and your future case.