The warrior physician mentality is, “We will sleep when we are dead.” Well, that actually may be true. Studies show a direct correlation between decreasing sleep and decreasing life expectancy. See, you will get to sleep when you are dead sooner because you will be dead sooner!
We are on call (most of us), have work commitments outside of normal hours, and these sometimes occur in the middle of the night. Emergencies and patient care issues cannot be planned. Hence, the word emergency. There is nothing as unique (or exhausting) as operating most of the night and then having a completely full clinic day the next day. That’s certainly not a recipe for burnout, is it?
This is something that requires no effort at all and allows you to be lazy and just lie down. The World Health Organization recently classified sleep deprivation as harmful to your health as smoking. Getting enough, purely from a health standpoint is job one!
Lack of it has been shown to increase your risk of death and increased risk of depression, and it’s the time of the day and the time of your life where you’re supposed to be recovering from the trials and tribulations of the day.
One thing that I love to start my clients is to get them to get more and regular sleep. And again, I realized we’re all physicians, and we have demands that take away from that, but there are strategies you can use to help get more regular rest.
So how much is enough?
What did you think of this video training?
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Jeff Moody, MD, Author
The Doctor is Burned Out: A Physician’s Guide to Recovery
Lioncrest Publishing, 2020
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