Give emergency room doctors a nap, and not only will they do a better job, they’ll also be nicer to you, according to a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine.
The findings, published in the November issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed improved mood, a higher alertness level and the ability to complete a simulated I.V. insertion more quickly among doctors and nurses who were allowed a short nap while working the night shift in an emergency room.
"Napping is a very powerful, very inexpensive way of improving our work," said one of the study’s authors, Steven Howard, MD, associate professor of anesthesia and expert on sleep deprivation and fatigue.
Howard has taken the results of the study one step further and begun implementing an official napping program at the hospital at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. "This is the first time a napping program has been instituted to try to get at the problem of fatigue in the workplace for health-care workers," he said.
According to statistics on America’s need for sleep, plenty of people could use a nap. More than 50% of Americans are sleep-deprived.