Thankfully, the medical community and general public are starting to recognize the benefits of sufficient sleep and the dangers of inadequate sleep. Sleep is an active, restorative process that modulates our immune system function and aids in the consolidation of learning. Insufficient sleep and sleep disruption are associated with negative health consequences, including cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive decline, as well as depression and anxiety. Poor sleep quality has clear negative effects on work performance, memory, and mood. Physicians are more prone to these effects, given the demands of the profession requiring long work hours in a stressful environment. Sleep deprivation also contributes to burnout and decreased job satisfaction. It is important to actively prioritize sleep and to be on the lookout for sleep disorders that may contribute to sleep disruption or cause poor sleep quality, including sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and circadian rhythm disorder. If a primary sleep disorder is suspected, one should be evaluated and treated by a sleep specialist.
KeywordsPhysicians Physicians in training Sleep Sleep deprivation Work hours Sleep-related impairment Sleep-disordered breathing Sleep loss Sleep disorders Performance Sleepiness countermeasures
- Avidan AY (2013) Sleep and fatigue countermeasures for the neurology resident and physician. Continuum 19(1 Sleep Disorders):204–22.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2011) Effect of short sleep duration on daily activities--United States, 2005-2008. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 60(8):239–42.Google Scholar
- Eddy R (2005) Sleep deprivation among physicians. BCMJ 47(4):176–180.Google Scholar
- Kalmbach DA, Arnedt JT, Song PX, Guille C, Sen S (2017) Sleep Disturbance and Short Sleep as Risk Factors for Depression and Perceived Medical Errors in First-Year Residents. Sleep [Internet]. Mar 23; Available from: https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsw073.
- Ker K, Edwards PJ, Felix LM, Blackhall K, Roberts I (2010) Caffeine for the prevention of injuries and errors in shift workers. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev (5):CD008508.Google Scholar
- Kryger MH, Roth T, Dement WC (2015) Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 5th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Health SciencesGoogle Scholar
- Sheldon SH, Kryger MH, Ferber R, Gozal D (2014) Principles and Practice of Pediatric Sleep Medicine E-Book. London/New York/Oxford/Philadelphia/St Louis/Sydney/Toronto: Elsevier Health SciencesGoogle Scholar
- West CP, Dyrbye LN, Shanafelt TD (2018) Physician Burnout: Contributors, Consequences, and Solutions. J. Intern. Med. [Internet]. 2018 Mar 5; Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12752.