Sleep and recovery in physicians on night call: a longitudinal field study.
Summary of "Sleep and recovery in physicians on night call: a longitudinal field study."
It is well known that physicians' night-call duty may cause impaired performance and adverse effects on subjective health, but there is limited knowledge about effects on sleep duration and recovery time. In recent years occupational stress and impaired well-being among anaesthesiologists have been frequently reported for in the scientific literature. Given their main focus on handling patients with life-threatening conditions, when on call, one might expect sleep and recovery to be negatively affected by work, especially in this specialist group. The aim of the present study was to examine whether a 16-hour night-call schedule allowed for sufficient recovery in anaesthesiologists compared with other physician specialists handling less life-threatening conditions, when on call.
Sleep, monitored by actigraphy and Karolinska Sleep Diary/Sleepiness Scale on one night after daytime work, one night call, the following first and second nights post-call, and a Saturday night, was compared between 15 anaesthesiologists and 17 paediatricians and ear, nose, and throat surgeons.
Recovery patterns over the days after night call did not differ between groups, but between days. Mean night sleep for all physicians was 3 hours when on call, 7 h both nights post-call and Saturday, and 6 h after daytime work (p<0.001). Scores for mental fatigue and feeling well rested were poorer post-call, but returned to Sunday morning levels after two nights' sleep.
Despite considerable sleep loss during work on night call, and unexpectedly short sleep after ordinary day work, the physicians' self-reports indicate full recovery after two nights' sleep. We conclude that these 16-hour night duties were compatible with a short-term recovery in both physician groups, but the limited sleep duration in general still implies a long-term health concern. These results may contribute to the establishment of safe working hours for night-call duty in physicians and other health-care workers.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: BMC health services research
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20712854
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-239
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Simultaneous and continuous monitoring of several parameters during sleep to study normal and abnormal sleep. The study includes monitoring of brain waves, to assess sleep stages, and other physiological variables such as breathing, eye movements, and blood oxygen levels which exhibit a disrupted pattern with sleep disturbances.
Periods of sleep manifested by changes in EEG activity and certain behavioral correlates; includes Stage 1: sleep onset, drowsy sleep; Stage 2: light sleep; Stages 3 and 4: delta sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, telencephalic sleep.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
HYPOVENTILATION syndrome in very obese persons with excessive ADIPOSE TISSUE around the ABDOMEN and DIAPHRAGM. It is characterized by diminished to absent ventilatory chemoresponsiveness; chronic HYPOXIA; HYPERCAPNIA; POLYCYTHEMIA; and long periods of sleep during day and night (HYPERSOMNOLENCE). It is a condition often related to OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA but can occur separately.
Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic
Dyssomnias (i.e., insomnias or hypersomnias) associated with dysfunction of internal sleep mechanisms or secondary to a sleep-related medical disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, post-traumatic sleep disorders, etc.). (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)
Movements or behaviors associated with sleep, sleep stages, or partial arousals from sleep that may impair sleep maintenance. Parasomnias are generally divided into four groups: arousal disorders, sleep-wake transition disorders, parasomnias of REM sleep, and nonspecific parasomnias. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p191)
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