The Big Sleep

It seems like nothing plays a bigger role in our lives than getting a good nights sleep. When you are getting up at 5 am for a shift, it can seem like a great time to throw your alarm clock across the room. However, studies show that getting a good night’s sleep improves your routine and it can even lead to making more money. 

Develop a few solid sleep habits and go to bed at the same time every night. No sleeping in too much on your days off (but it’s so tempting!) And for the night-shifters: use room-darkening shades and keep the thermostat low. For help falling asleep, don’t rely on red wine and Benadryl, or OTC sleeping aides. Go natural with melatonin or magnesium. There are even breathing exercises to help you fall asleep. What have you tried to get a good night’s sleep?

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Epsom Salt Bath

After a long shift, you finally get home and strip off all of your MRSA and C. diff contaminated clothes and get ready for a hot bath…hopefully by about 8:30 if your end-of-shift report didn’t take too long. Imagine the feeling you get from taking a warm bath with some Epsom salts. The salts acts as a natural muscle relaxer and provides your body with vital magnesium to fight anxiety and ease stress. I find that after a warm Epsom salt bath I can go to bed easily and have a restful nights sleep. The Epsom salts are actually a combination of magnesium and sulfate. As a nurse, I know that magnesium plays an important role in muscle control, electrical impulses, and production of energy.

Nurses experience a lot of stress on a daily basis so getting enough magnesium is important. Most people are magnesium deficient if they consume carbonated or caffeinated drinks daily, eat refined sugar on a regular basis, or drink more than 7 alcoholic beverages a week. Taking an Epsom salt bath at least once a week is a relaxing way to get more magnesium in your life. Place two cups of Epsom salt in your bath, let it dissolve, and voila! Get in and let the magic happen! Let me know if you’ve tried this and what you felt like afterwards.