How nurses can help patients sleep better
Solid sleeping—and quicker recoveries—ultimately will require hospital-wide awareness and collaboration, said Assistant Professor Lichuan Ye. Before policies are formulated to effect that, nurses can try these strategies to improve patients’ sleep.
- Enforce “Quiet Time” from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
- Shoo out visitors at 10:00 p.m. and limit overnight visits.
- Close the doors to patients’ rooms.
- Close the shades. Dim the lights, or turn them off and use night-lights.
- Put cell phones and pagers on vibrate mode.
- Turn off the TV and encourage patients to turn off cell phones and laptops, or at least use headphones for their neighbors’ sake.
- Introduce earplugs and eye masks.
- Place a “Do Not Disturb” sign (or appropriate equivalent) on patients’ doors to minimize unnecessary interactions during quiet time.
- Respond as quickly as possible to patient alarms