The first study to assess the benefits of naps for medical residents during extended shifts found that creating protected times when interns could sleep during a night on-call significantly reduced fatigue.
In the June 6, 2006, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago report that although average sleep time for interns in the study increased only modestly -- by about one hour -- the interns felt that even small gains in sleep led to substantial improvements in fatigue, sleep quality and ability to care for their patients.
"This is a proven method of alleviating fatigue in industries that combine high intensity with long shifts," said study director Vineet Arora, M.D., instructor of medicine at the University of Chicago, "yet is has been neglected by the one industry that studies sleep. Our results show that a well timed nap can provide a significant boost in physician concentration and take away some of the burden of chronic sleep deprivation."
John Easton | EurekAlert!
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