The impact of nursing students’ sleep hygiene practices on patient safety

Cynthia M. Thomas, Constance E. McIntosh, Ruthie LaMar


Background: Nursing students are prone to inadequate sleep but not fully aware of personal health risks, potential safety and quailty of care issues. Poor sleep hygiene can impact cognition, aleartness, cognitive speed, and accuracy of tasks completion, lower grades, fatigue and depression.

Methods: This descriptive study addressed quantitative data from a 4-point Likert scale and open-ended questions. Nursing students from the National Student Nurse Association enrolled in an associate or baccalaureate program and having had at least one clinical experience were invited to particiate in the study.

Results: Results indicate the amount of sleep needed is not being achieved. Participants reported ingesting substances to stay awake and to induce sleep. Nineteen percent of students reported making an error during a clinical experience.

Conclusions: Students may be naive in thinking short- and long-term use of sleep-inducing aides and stimulants for wakefulness pose no risks to personal safety and safety of patients. By identifying and addressing systemic causes of nursing students lack of sleep using a comprehensive approach to educate, impose consequences, and promote sleep hygiene at the local and national levels, students will have fewer reasons and justifications for not achieving adequate sleep.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.