Healthcare hero alert: Nightshift nurses are suffering

We’ve all suffered in some way during this ongoing pandemic. But healthcare workers have been hit especially hard.

Because while everyone made their own risk assessments about COVID-19, medical professionals continued showing up for you… no matter what.

The truth is, these frontline heroes face daily struggles—with or without the challenges of a novel virus.

These are the people who don’t get the luxury of working from home. (After all, they need to see their patients, in real time, to treat them properly.)

As a result, they put their own health on the line—mentally and physically.

And according to a study, nightshift nurses might be suffering the most…

Toll to pay for nightshift nurses

According to research from 2018, working the nightshift takes a MAJOR toll on nurses’ mental and physical health.

For the study, nearly 400 nurses recorded their sleep experiences in a daily journal for two weeks. They took note of sleep duration, quality, efficiency (how long they were sleeping versus just lying in bed), and nightmare severity.

Researchers also took blood samples halfway through the study to test general immune response and inflammation.

Then, they sorted participants into three sleep classes:

  1. Good overall sleep
  2. Poor overall sleep
  3. Nightmares only

Researchers found that nurses in the poor overall sleep category were more likely to be nightshift workers. This group also reported more cases of perceived stress, depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and severe anxiety.

A grueling occupation

Keep in mind that this study was conducted well before the pandemic hit.

So the emotional toll and workload on nurses has likely only increased—further exacerbating these problems.
Healthcare workers have been combatting COVID-19, head on, for two years and counting. There has been minimal guidance and barely any time to rest.

But the truth is, this won’t be the last new disease to arrive on scene. And this won’t be the last thing piled on top of healthcare workers’ shoulders. (It’s a grueling occupation… though it’s also extremely rewarding work.)

I urge you to think about that the next time you encounter an exhausted nurse. Then, do what you can to help them help you.
Until next time,
Dr. Fred

P.S. If you’re suffering from poor sleep, no matter your profession, I encourage you to check out my Perfect Sleep Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool outlines a simple plan to combat your insomnia and improve your quality of sleep. Click here to learn more!

“Poor sleep and stress exacerbate each other among nurses who work night shift, study finds.” ScienceDaily, 02/03/2022. (