Getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial regardless of what industry you’re in, but for a travel nurse, this basic need is even more crucial. The mental and physical demands involved with travel nursing can lead to exhaustion fairly quickly if appropriate sleep habits aren’t exercised on a regular basis.
How can you ensure that you’re getting healthy sleep as a travel nurse? As the American Nurses Association focuses on healthy sleep this month as part of its Year of the Nurse, let’s look at a few tips and tricks that can help you obtain restorative sleep every night so you can continue to serve your patients with quality and attentive care.
1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
It might be tempting to sleep in on the days you aren’t working, but maintaining a regular sleep and wake routine can be essential when everything else in your life changes around every 13 weeks. Travel nursing often requires you to readjust to new locations and possibly new time zones, so staying regular with your sleep schedule is crucial. You’ll also wake up feeling more alert and will be more productive throughout the day.
2. Assess your environment.
Nursing can present a fair amount of stress each day, so making sure you have a relaxing and quiet space to sleep can contribute toward feeling refreshed the next day. Your bedroom should be dark and free from electronic devices that might encourage you to stay up later than needed. At HCTN, our travel and housing team can help you find a housing situation that best suits your needs.
3. Avoid caffeine late in the day.
Travel nurses tend to drink a lot of coffee and caffeinated beverages throughout their shift, as their duties can be high-pressure and require them to be incredibly alert. One poor night of sleep might lead to this behavior, causing you to then lie awake the following night—continuing the cycle of inadequate sleep. Travel nursing is a career that involves a high amount of focus and stamina, so those who rely on these substances to get through the day might find it a challenging career path.
The benefits of healthy sleep for travel nurses include excellent patient care, increased job satisfaction, lower stress levels, and the ability to complete daily tasks with attention to detail and a love for the job. Remember that, as a Super Nurse, THS is here to serve as your sidekick—if you find that healthy sleep has been out of reach for some time, utilize your resources to find solutions that will work best for you.