Sleep hygiene is crucial to maintaining your emotional and physical wellbeing. Recognize the signs of sleep deprivation since it can be insidious. It can include falling asleep in conferences, irritability, cutting corners on tasks, repeatedly checking your work, difficulty focusing, or feeling like you don’t care.
Establish healthy sleep habits. Try to go to bed at the same time each night in a quiet, cool, dark environment. Turn off your phones and pagers. Avoid TV, computers, and LED screens prior to bed. Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full. Try relaxation techniques if you have a hard time going to sleep. When you are on call, sleep as much as you can before and after call. Minimize bright light exposure after you leave from a night shift; wear sunglasses!
Caffeine can be used strategically but not as a crutch. Only take it when you have greater sleepiness and when you are not expecting to go to bed soon. Also keep in mind that tolerance may develop and that sympathetic activation can increase anxiety, tachycardia, etc. Alcohol should not be used for sleep; it actually disrupts sleep architecture and there are obvious dependence issues.
Remember that, in NJ, it is a criminal offence under Maggie’s law to drive if you have been continuously awake for 24 hours. Make arrangements to carpool or take public transportation. GME will reimburse taxis as well.