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Adventures in Sleep

Sleep Patients: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Published October 28, 2009 12:54 PM by Amy Reavis
How many times have you heard the saying "do as I say, not as I do?"  Well, that's what I should have been telling patients this week. I try to teach our patients about sleep hygiene.  I talk about sleep routines and bedroom environment and having the pet sleep anywhere but in the bed.  Well, this week I broke all the rules. In the end, I paid the price.

Due to unexpected issues, I had beds booked without a technician to cover them. Because we are a small lab that does not have an over abundance of technicians, there is only one solution to this type of problem: I get to rotate onto nights.

Unfortunately, this two night shift rotation was coming after taking a day off.  This meant I needed to catch up on my missed work, plus do this extra work. 

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday for 9 hours.  Then I came in Thursday, worked a 6-hour day and then came back to do a 12-hour night.  Trust me: at 3 am, I was fighting sleep. (I remember when I was younger and this 24 hour work day really was not a big deal. As I reach my mid-forties, it is getting a lot tougher.)

When I woke up Friday morning, my biggest fear happened.  I woke my son for school and he had caught the latest bug.  I knew what was going to come, but there is not a lot I could do to prevent it. 

Of course, my challenge sleeping during the day is that I do not do it very often and I live in an apartment with a Westie.  I also have an upstairs neighbor who has three children under 5 years old.  Needless to say, sleeping during the day presents challenges of noise that really do not help. So, I turn on a CD with relaxation and sleep inducing music.  I find it definitely helps but still does not help me get more then 4 hours of sleep. 

Now it is Wednesday and I am sitting here typing between sniffling and coughing.  I know it was my poor sleep that left me susceptible to this bug.  I know what I really needed to do was to get a good sleep.  I know that my patients really wonder who this sniffley person calling them to schedule their test is and whether I will make them sick when they come in for their study.  So now my tech laughs at me and says that I should listen to my own advice and make sure I get a good night sleep.


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About this Blog

    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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