Sleep: The Underhyped Secret To Success And Safety In Medici
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The pressure to minimise sleep through medical school is twofold: first, the tension between perfectionist tendencies and the bottomless well of facts to learn; and second, the virtue or success associated with early mornings. “There’s always this thing about morning people having the morning high ground, compared to those who prefer to sleep in—regardless of how late they may have stayed up being very productive, they are often branded as being lazy.

Because the brain continues to develop through adolescence, most undergraduate medical students need as much sleep as teens. Mike Farquhar, Consultant in sleep medicine at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, explained that the mean hours of sleep that adolescents need is around 9.5 hours a night; and, that up to the age of 25, most of us need 7.5 to 9.5 hours a night.

Regardless of age, getting the amount of sleep that is right for you is precious. If you are chronically sleep-deprived, if you are cutting off the last two or three hours of sleep every night of your life, the bit of sleep you are missing out on is the bit that is most important for learning and memory, and being a nice person actually.

Night shifts are essential to healthcare, and hostile to our physiology, but the effects can be mitigated. There is an organisational responsibility to maximise our capacity for sleep, too, such as designing rotas that lessen the jet lag of changing shifts.

Individually, the key to managing the effects of night shifts on your health, and on your safety is maintaining a good core sleep routine. Now is the best time to start. As medical students you feel guilty if you’re not up burning the midnight oil, said Mike, but actually, from a learning point of view, you are much better in prioritising your sleep. Sleep is absolutely fundamental to learning.

Dr. G●●●a N P and 17 others like this5 shares
A M General Medicine
Yes this is somwthing so important that is often neglected alott! Sleep is so important to function properly.. however in medical field its so glorified tht sleeping less hours is okay! Or staying up at night for too long is ok! .. No! This is only going to impact the profession. In US also it was detected tht physicians with less hours of sleep or sleep deprived did mistakes wch ia not acceptable in this profession! Doctors are humans too even this should be remembered n they should get their proper hours of sleep... Read more
Feb 20, 2021Like2