Protected Sleep Periods Can Increase Sleep and Alertness among Medical Interns

December 12, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Implementation of a protected sleep period for internal medicine interns on call resulted in an increase in overnight sleep duration and improved alertness during the following day, concludes a study published in the December 5, 2012, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, which included 103 interns and senior medical students at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center and a university hospital, evaluated the feasibility and repercussions of mandating protected sleep periods during extended duty. According to the results, participants with protected sleep at the VA center slept a mean of 2.86 hours per shift compared with a mean of 1.98 hours of sleep among those whose sleep was not protected.

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