Categories: Health and Wellness

Sleep Tips For Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers and caregivers are at the front and center of all kinds of emergencies, large and small. They are the ones giving 110 percent when others are struggling to come to terms with injuries, illnesses, and new limitations to their lives; temporary or otherwise. It is their job to ease pain, bring comfort, and reduce fears. It’s a job that is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting.

Healthcare workers, above all others, need better sleep to help them remain alert and dedicated to their important tasks throughout the day, and so that they have energy left over for others who depend on them when their workdays are done.

Failing to get sufficient sleep can have devastating consequences for their health, their ability to fight off illness and infections, and their ability to perform their caregiving duties. Whether a licensed healthcare provider working in a clinical setting or a caregiver for a loved one, the role as a caregiver is important. These tips will help caregivers get better sleep in the days ahead, in order to relax, recharge, and carry on being the superhero others need.

Make the Bedroom Conducive to Sleep

For some, this will be a bit of a struggle. In order to really create an atmosphere that is ripe for sleep, it is essential to remove all things that distract from sleep from the room. This includes televisions, computers, and even mobile phones (unless you need to be on-call). The idea is to have uninterrupted or undisturbed sleep whenever possible, for as long as possible. These devices offer distractions that interrupt and disrupt sleep.

Additionally, the bedroom should be a clutter-free zone. Clutter can keep you awake more than you realize. Try to keep the floor clean of clutter as well as the surfaces in the room. Even decorating choices can disrupt your ability to sleep. Paint your room in soothing colors, and try to limit loud or bold prints in the bedroom. An occasional pop of color is acceptable, but for the most part it is best to go with subtle, soothing, and sedate colors and décor in the bedroom.

Another area where you can improve the sleep-friendliness of your bedroom is fragrance. Avoid heavy fragrances and synthetic fragrances in favor of essential oils and live plants that provide soothing fragrances in your bedroom to promote sleep. Great choices include:

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Valerian
  • Aloe Vera
  • Chamomile

Small steps like this can make the bedroom a safe haven where one can get the restful sleep needed in the essential role of caregiving.

If you work a nighttime shift, and sleep during the day, don’t forget essentials, like blackout curtains, so the sunlight doesn’t trickle in disrupting your sleep during the day.

Try to Maintain a Sleep Schedule and Bedtime Routine

By staying on your schedule as much as possible, and adopting a consistent bedtime routine, you’re training your body to sleep at appropriate times. This can be difficult for caregivers who work odd shifts. The desire is often to spend as much time with friends and family when you’re not working. However, that can create huge disruptions when it is time to return to your caregiving duties, and it prevents you from getting the restful sleep you require to avoid burning out or sacrificing your help.

It’s also increasingly difficult to do when you’re required to put in extra hours as a caregiver. But it is an important goal to consider regardless.

The bedtime routine might sound superfluous after long hours of work, but this routine is also part of how you unwind, and help your brain shut down for the day. It’s important, and can help you fall asleep even faster once your head hits the pillow.

Get Comfortable

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to get better sleep is to get comfortable going to sleep. It’s about more than what you’re wearing to bed, though it is best to go for clothing that doesn’t bunch or stick. It’s about maintaining an appropriate temperature (most people sleep better in cooler rooms than in rooms that are overly warm), choosing the right sized bed, and having a comfortable mattress.

If you choose wisely, you can find a mattress that supports abundant air flow, and provides sufficient support for an amazing overall sleep experience. Then there are other key details, like the sheets you choose for your bed, or even your pillow, and how they can help promote a cooler sleep experience. The key is to make sure you’re not distracted from sleep because you’re uncomfortable.

Mind Your Nutrition

Healthcare workers are busy, so it is easy to sacrifice a healthy diet. Unfortunately, this can rob you of the restful sleep you desire and deserve. Eating unhealthy foods can cause heartburn or acid reflux that keeps you up at night. Eating too much too close to bedtime can cause discomfort that makes it more difficult to fall asleep. The goal is to eat healthy, balanced meals throughout your day, so you can rest easier when the opportunity presents itself.

PlushBeds understands the weighty responsibilities healthcare workers live with every day. We want you to know that you are heroes in our book, and hope these tips can help you get the replenishing sleep you deserve. If you are still struggling to get restful sleep, we encourage you to try our luxurious Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress to change your sleep outlook.

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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