Aims. To explore nurses' perceived sleep quality and examine factors that contribute to insufficient sleep quality. Background. Shift work is an important source of disturbances in the health and well-being of nurses. However, nursing services must be available on a 24-hour basis, making shift work a necessity. Sleep disorders tend to occur among nurses typically working on a rotating schedule. Although many studies related to nurses' sleep quality have been carried out in the West, few have investigated factors linked to nurses' sleep quality in Hong Kong. Design. A cross-sectional study. Method. The study was conducted during the period November 2005-June 2006 in two local hospitals in Hong Kong. Nurses (n = 163) completed a self-reported questionnaire. Demographic data and information on health status, strain and symptom levels and perceived sleep quality were collected. Results. More than 70% of the nurses reported having insufficient sleep and strain and symptom levels were higher in this group. Older age, perceived poor sleep status, gastrointestinal symptoms and higher strain and symptom levels were risk factors that contributed to insufficient sleep. Conclusions. Evaluation of internal stressors and modification of shift work schedules are important areas of future research; these should aim at finding the best compromise between productivity and employees' sleep quality, health and performance. Relevance to clinical practice. Healthcare workers' job task analysis, the evaluation of internal stressors and the modification of shift work schedules are important areas of future research and should result in the best compromise between productivity and employees' sleep quality, health and performance.
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