Fighting the Effects of Hospital Sleep Deprivation

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If you’ve ever been hospitalized, you probably thought to yourself — or maybe even complained to your night nurse — “How is anyone supposed to get any sleep around here?” Sleep disruption puts hospitalized patients at risk for grogginess, delirium, and falls. To help solve the sleep deprivation problem, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine conducted a study called Sleep for Inpatients: Empowering Staff To Act (SIESTA).

The research focused on a total of 1,083 patients in two 18-bed general medicine units. For the study, the researchers adjusted the medical facility’s electronic health records (EHR) system to include reminders urging doctors and nurses to avoid minimally valuable disruptions -- like waking patients during the night to measure vital signs or administer non-urgent medications. They also did a presentation reminding doctors and nurses of the detrimental effects of in-hospital sleep deprivation. According to the researchers, these measures successfully changed the health care providers’ behavior, allowing more patients to sleep through the night without being disturbed.

During the year-long SIESTA study, health care providers entered patient rooms 44 percent fewer times, and patients experienced an average of six fewer caregiver entries during sleeping hours.

Sourced from: Journal of Hospital Medicine