What is it about?

Sleep is essential for the physical and psychological restoration of inpatients, and lack of sleep results in sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality, with potentially harmful consequences.The literature review showed that both ICU and acute ward settings affect patients' sleep and both use similar strategies to improve this. Nevertheless, noise and sleep disturbances remain the most critical sleep-inhibiting factors in both settings. The review recommended future research should focus on behavioural changes among health professionals to reduce noise and improve patients' sleep.

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Why is it important?

We summarised similarities and differences of sleep-promoting interventions between Intensive care unit and acute ward setting. Our analysis produced two main themes: sleep-disturbing factors and sleep-promoting strategies. Sleep-disturbing factors included environmental factors (such as light and noise), illness-related factors (such as pain, anxiety and discomfort), clinical care and diagnostics. Sleep-promoting strategies included using pharmacological aids (medication) and non-pharmacological aids (reducing noise and disturbances, eye masks, earplugs and educational and behavioural changes).


Sleep promoting intervention is important to improve patients sleep in hospitals. Because lack of sleep can delay recovery from illness and reduced immune systems to fight hospital acquire infections.

Mr Carlos Aparício
Anglia Ruskin University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Interventions to improve inpatients' sleep quality in intensive care units and acute wards: a literature review, British Journal of Nursing, July 2020, Mark Allen Group,
DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2020.29.13.770.
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