July 30, 2021
By Jessica DelloStritto, PA-S2
Feb. 29, 2016
Does that statement seems like a cruel joke or an impossible feat? Well you’re in luck; it’s not impossible! There are many facets to achieving wellness during your journey through a Physician Assistant program and sleep was one that I truly struggled with when starting the clinical portion of my training. Quickly, I learned how difficult it was for me to take care of patients when I wasn’t taking care of my sleep properly.
It is no surprise that getting an insufficient amount or quality of sleep impacts you physically and mentally. Many of us have experienced this poor sleep first-hand in our undergraduate studies and beyond. Not only does it impact your ability learn and recall information, it can impact your GPA and your overall mood. In addition to academia, there are risks that come along with prolonged poor-quality sleep habits including an increased risk of heart disease and obesity. During graduate school getting a solid 8 hours every night, particularly on a surgery rotation, may be an unobtainable goal but practicing good sleep hygiene can help improve the quality of sleep you are able to obtain.
Sleep hygiene is defined by the National Sleep Foundation as “a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.” Some of these practices are more challenging during rotations, but creating an individual plan that works for you can increase your quality sleep, decrease daytime somnolence, and make you a better well rounded PA student. Sleep hygiene behaviors include:
Taking care of yourself in PA school is vital to your ability to be a successful student but also to be an effective healthcare provider. Changing your habits is challenging, but making a few changes gradually will allow the hours you are able to get some zzz’s into quality sleep.
By: Jessica DelloStritto, PA-S2
Mount Union Physician Assistant Program