It is important that you are happy with your travel nursing job and perform your best. You can help ensure that happens by getting a good night’s sleep. Sufficient rest is essential for your body and mind to be ready for your next big day. As a travel nurse, you’re often busy taking care of others, but at Medical Solutions we want you to take care of yourself, too.
Why it’s important to get a good night’s rest
Getting enough sleep is important because it rejuvenates your body at the end of the day. During sleep your body goes through cycles to help you refresh mentally and physically, restoring the functions that are necessary for your next day’s routines. Here are some sites that give you insight about the importance of sleep.
Results of lack of sleep
Without adequate sleep, you open yourself up to potential health risks, some of which impact short term mental performance, while others pose more serious, long-term risks. Some of the negative mental effects that may occur are an increase in stress and irritation. Shortness of memory may also take place because during the sleep cycle your brain refreshes for the next day by processing and organizing information.
A lack of sleep could also weaken your immune system, making you more prone to colds and viruses. In addition, a long-term lack of sleep or “sleep debt” can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, obesity, headaches and digestive problems. Here are some sites that have in-depth information about the consequences of sleep deprivation.
Advice for getting a good night’s rest
Even though your schedule as a travel nurse means you may not always be able to keep a regular schedule, there are still steps you can take to get the best sleep possible.
- During the day, it is important to try to avoid naps. Taking naps could throw off your sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep at night.
- If a nap is necessary, try just taking a 20-30 minute nap to avoid throwing off your body’s clock.
- Try to limit the amount of caffeine you drink before going to bed.
- Pay close attention to keeping as regular a sleeping schedule as possible.
- Keeping active and exercising on a regular basis will also help improve your sleeping patterns
- Make sure to limit your exercising to 3 hours before bedtime so your body has time to slow down and relax.
Create a restful sleeping setting
Creating a good sleep environment can also help you get a good night’s sleep despite an irregular schedule as a travel nurse.
- Make sure you have a comfortable pillow; you may want to try a therapeutic foam pillow that cradles your neck.
- Do not use the room for doing work, paying the bills, using your computer, etc… Your body needs to recognize that the bedroom is only for sleep.
- Try to keep the room as quiet as possible; use a fan or white noise machine to keep outside noises down.
- In addition, be sure to hide your clock. It will only be a distraction when you are trying to fall sleep. Focusing on the time can make you anxious about being unable to sleep.
Finally, establish a good pre-sleep ritual. Don’t eat a big meal before you go to bed. Take time to relax for a while before you go to bed; read or take a warm bath. Give your body cues that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Put on some quiet, relaxing music. Last but not least, listen to your body, and go to sleep when you’re tired.
Here are some sites with more tips and advice about getting a good night’s sleep: