Tired all the time
Ailbhe Burke wonders why junior doctors are TATT
- By: Ailbhe Burke
I look like a junior doctor. By this I mean I have bags under my eyes, look slightly dazed and harassed, and concerned elderly patients ask if I'm getting enough sleep.
In an attempt to find the answer to that question, I will discuss how much sleep is needed and whether lack of it can affect work; regulations governing work and rest hours; and other factors influencing fatigue. If I can stay awake long enough, that is.
Recommended hours of sleep vary. Some people are thought to be naturally “short sleepers,” needing less than six hours a night, and some are long sleepers needing more than nine hours.1 After years of being told that eight hours' sleep a night was normal and less than this leads to sleep debt,2 we now hear that research from the US indicates that people who sleep only seven hours a night live longest.3 Research