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Aureus Medical shares travel nursing tips: Habits that may be disrupting your sleep

Omaha, NE (February 1, 2016) - While everyone needs sleep to function and remain healthy, a good night's rest is especially important for those working in travel nursing. Aureus Medical Group, a leader in healthcare staffing, shares a few habits that may be disrupting your sleep.

Research published in Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses found that insufficient sleep can lead to poor job performance, cognitive problems and increased safety risks, and nurses working long shifts were more susceptible to these consequences. In fact, accident rates go up for nurses after working 9 hours and double after 12 hours.

These adverse effects of fatigue not only mean patients may not receive adequate care, but it can put nurses' health at risk, too. Sleep deprivation lowers your immunity, and travel nurses are constantly exposed to sick people on the job.

These consequences of tiredness make sleep all the more important for healthcare workers, but certain habits can hinder catching those much-needed Zs. Here are three habits that may be disturbing your sleep:

1. Shift work
Admittedly, as a travel nurse, there's really no avoiding the shift work that is so common in the healthcare industry, but it's important to at least understand how this type of schedule affects your sleep cycle. People who work outside the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe may experience shift work sleep disorder, a condition caused by a disruption to the body's natural circadian rhythm. In essence, SWSD causes difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Fortunately, there are ways travel nurses can counter this sleep-disturbing factor. The Cleveland Clinic recommended shift workers squeeze in naps when possible, maintain a sleep diary to keep track of what activities help or hinder slumber, take measures to extend the amount of time they can sleep (like finding a faster way to commute) and limit their number of night shifts.

2. Drinking caffeine
It's certainly not unheard of for travel nurses to consume three or four cups of coffee by the end of their shifts. Healthcare jobs are demanding – you have to remain mentally alert to prepare for unexpected emergencies and speed walk from room to room to tend to patients, all while working long hours. While caffeine can help individuals in this profession do their jobs, it can cause problems when it's time to fall asleep.

Read the full article for more habits that may be disrupting your sleep.

About Aureus Medical Group:

Aureus Medical Group is a national leader in healthcare staffing specializing in the successful placement of Nursing, Advanced Practice, Cardiopulmonary, Diagnostic Imaging, Medical Laboratory, Neurodiagnostics, Radiation Oncology, and Rehabilitation Therapy professionals, as well as Physicians, in hospitals and medical facilities nationwide.  With more than 30 years of experience, Aureus Medical offers a full range of staffing options, including national contract (travel), local contract, and direct hire.  Aureus Medical is the largest affiliate of Omaha-based C&A Industries, a leading provider of human capital management solutions for more than 45 years.