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J Adv Nurs. 1995 Jun;21(6):1101-9.

Sleep in hospitals at night: are patients' needs being met?

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Nuffield Institute for Health, Community Care Division, Leeds, England.


Although the functions of sleep are not clearly understood, it is generally accepted that it is necessary for the maintenance of good health, and that the need for sleep increases with illness. The findings of a study on the hospital in-patient night show that many patients do not consider that they have sufficient sleep in hospital at night; that discomfort, worries and pain may contribute to their wakefulness; that the sleep of many is disrupted by a variety of sources of disturbances; that ward lights are dimmed for the night for no longer than required by the average, healthy person; and that patients continue to be woken early in the morning. A variety of ways of tackling these problems is proposed. Differences in the perceptions of nurses and patients about certain aspects of in-patient care at night demonstrate the importance of systematically asking patients about their experiences. Once viewed through patients' eyes, the everyday procedures, routines and environments of the hospital become visible and tangible influences on patient care, rather than part of the taken-for-granted context in which patients receive that care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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