What do doctors want most during this pandemic? Well, besides getting a COVID-19 under control and the positive developments with vaccinations! According to a new report from MDlink the answer is ‘sleep’.
Doctors across the world are losing sleep due to this pandemic due to stress, worrying about patients, and adjusting to new care procedures in their work and society. Sleep deprivation has become a key issue for doctors.
What happens to those who are facing long-term sleep loss? Research shows that doctors who don’t get enough sleep can struggle with mental health, physical illness, and burnout.
Unfortunately, these issues can affect patient safety. Doctors who are tired can’t make the same decisions and think through the consequences. As a result, quality of care is lower at exactly the time we need people at their best.
Medical Professionals Already Sleep Less
After the pandemic eases, are doctors and other medical professionals going to get the sleep they need? Unfortunately not. A recent study published in the Journal Current Treatment Options for Neurology titled “COVID-19 and Sleep in Medical Staff: Reflections, Clinical Evidences, and Perspectives” shows that there was already widespread sleep deprivation, which was only made worse by the pandemic.
Before COVID-19 medical staff already slept less than the general population. This had consequences for their health as well as patient satisfaction and safety.
Sleep disorders during COVID-19 are also associated with depression and anxiety symptoms. Given the connection between lower sleep and poor outcomes for both doctors and patients, sleep disturbance detection has to be a top priority at medical facilities.
A Global Issue
Research shows that a loss of sleep among medical professionals is not localized to any one country or region. Insomnia and sleepiness have been found in Saudi Arabia, America, and Europe.
Studies have suggested that because sleep disorders are linked so strongly to lower patient safety and increased errors, medical facilities need to take action. Prioritizing breaks and employing extra staff will help reduce burnout, stress, and improve sleep quality, whether there’s a pandemic or not.