Monash University researchers are recruiting Australian nurses to try personalised sleep recommendations for one week as part of a study that aims to understand whether such models can be utilised by shift workers.
According to researchers, nurses often experience poor sleep and symptoms associated with insomnia, such as difficulty falling asleep and not feeling well rested after sleep.
More than 15% of the Australian workforce is employed in shift work. Shift work, challenging workloads, stress and personal commitments often make sleep treatments a challenge. Further, regular shift workers, such as nurses, are at a higher risk of experiencing poor physical and mental health, reduced alertness and performance than non-shift workers.
Sleep scheduling, customised bedtime and waketime that aligns with one’s shift schedules and body clock, can help reduce adverse health risk.
With this in mind, researchers are testing automated systems that take shifts into account to provide personalised sleep recommendations for bedtime and waketime.
The models use information like habitual sleep and work schedules, and deidentified calendar entries to provide personalised sleep schedules.
In the new study, titled Examining the feasibility of three sleep recommendation models on a cohort of shift workers, researchers are looking to identify which evidence-based personalised sleep model is best for nurses. Researchers hope to use this information to further develop sleep treatments for nurses and find opportunities to provide those treatments in accessible ways.
Participation in the study runs over two-weeks and requires the completion of daily sleep logs and following bedtime and waketime recommendations for one week. Other requirements include:
- Completing a 15-minute questionnaire on general sleep habits, sleep disturbances, the type and nature of shift work and mood at the start of the study.
- One week of sleep monitoring using sleep diaries (takes less than five minutes). Sleep diaries are daily logs used to record sleep behaviours such as bedtime, waketime, time taken to fall asleep, and recover after waking.
- Nurses providing researchers with their shift schedule and personal commitments, such as going to the gym, or events that cannot be missed. The initial information will be used by researchers to generate a weekly schedule of personalised sleep recommendations for bedtime and waketime.
- Nurses will be asked to try to follow the sleep recommendations for one week and continue to fill in their sleep diaries.
- After a week of following sleep recommendations, nurses will be asked to complete another questionnaire to investigate whether they could follow the sleep recommendations and if any of their sleep patterns have changed over the week.
The joint study is being conducted by researchers from Monash University, the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Hospital, and the University of Sydney.
Researchers plan to recruit 60 nurses for the study, including individuals aged 25 and over.
Each participant will be allocated to one of the three groups. All three models have undergone testing and have known efficacy in providing sleep recommendations.
Nurses who take part in the study will receive a $50 gift card.