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Nurses' Lack Of Sleep Could Affect Patient Safety And Care, Study Says

BOSTON (CBS) -- Nurses aren't getting enough sleep, which may impact patient care and safety, according to a new study by NYU.

Nurses usually don't work a typical nine to five job, often working in 12-hour shifts and all hours of the day and night. And we know that irregular hours take a toll on circadian rhythms.

Researchers at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing surveyed more than 1,500 nurses, and found that they reported getting just under seven hours of sleep prior to a work day on average, but more than eight hours before a day off.

That's an hour and half less sleep before a work shift, and less sleep was associated with lower ratings of patient safety and quality of care.

Researchers say it's in everyone's interest to make sure nurses are well rested by limiting overtime, improving scheduling and providing counseling on the importance of sleep.

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