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NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Chronic Disorders (Continued)

In addition to sleep disorders, certain chronic diseases and medications can increase excessive work time sleepiness and difficulties with getting good quality sleep.15

  • Sleepiness is a side effect of certain commonly used medications, such as benzodiazepines, narcotic analgesics, some antihistamines, some antidepressants, and some prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat insomnia. If you experience excessive sleepiness or fatigue, consider your medications. Sometimes your healthcare provider can adjust the dose or switch you to ones that are not sedating.
  • Pain and other symptoms from several chronic diseases are often more bothersome at night and interfere with getting good-quality sleep. These include asthma, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and rhinitis. Better symptom control can sometimes also reduce the excessive sleepiness and sleep problems.
If you work shift work or long work hours, remember to inform your healthcare providers about your work hours.
Module: 4, Page 6 of 10