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Sleep hygiene in paramedics: What do they know and what do they do?
journal contributionposted on 19.08.2020, 00:00 by Alexandra ShrianeAlexandra Shriane, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell, Sally FergusonSally Ferguson, Gabrielle RigneyGabrielle Rigney, Grace VincentGrace Vincent
Objectives: Shift workers routinely obtain inadequate sleep, which has major health and wellbeing consequences. Sleep hygiene describes a range of behaviours, lifestyle and environmental factors that can support optimal sleep. To date, limited research has examined sleep hygiene in shift workers. This study aimed to 1) assess the knowledge and understanding of sleep hygiene amongst shift working paramedics, as well as the perceived impact on sleep, and 2) investigate paramedics engagement with sleep hygiene practices. Study Design: Participants completed an online, cross-sectional survey. Participants: Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics (n = 184) who work shift work. Measures: The online survey included questions from the Standard Shiftwork Index and Sleep Hygiene Index. Results: Most participants reported little or no understanding or knowledge of ‘sleep hygiene’ as a concept. Participants reported that sleep scheduling and bedroom environment (temperature, light, and noise) were the most impactful on sleep. Few participants reported nicotine and alcohol consumption, or daytime napping, whereas caffeine consumption and mentally-stimulating bedtime activities were more common. Participants who were young, single, and worked all shift types (day, afternoon, and night) as part of their regular rosters, demonstrated less knowledge regarding sleep hygiene, and were more likely to be exhibiting poor sleep hygiene engagement. Conclusions: Paramedics demonstrated a limited level of understanding of sleep hygiene as a concept, and varied knowledge about the impacts of individual sleep hygiene factors. Further, paramedics demonstrated varied engagement with individual sleep hygiene practices. Future research should focus on the development of sleep hygiene interventions to optimise sleep in paramedics.