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NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Sleep Aids and Stimulants (Continued)

A caution about extra-strength caffeinated products: too much caffeine can cause disturbances to the heart and nervous system. In 2013, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration reported emergency department visits increased almost 14 times between 2005 and 2011 for problems related to caffeine-containing “energy drinks.”15

Stimulants do not provide the alertness and decision-making ability that comes from adequate sleep.16 If you rely on caffeine instead of sleep, your judgment may be satisfactory for routine tasks, but under pressure it may not be as clear as it would be with adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep is the most effective strategy to reduce sleepiness and other related negative effects.

If you have trouble maintaining alertness during work, you can see your healthcare provider or a sleep disorders specialist for an assessment and advice.

Module: 6, Page 13 of 20