Quality rest plays a vital role in the healing process. Waking up, and being woken up, frequently leads to poor-quality sleep and irritability. This also affects hospitals directly since patients may have a negative experience that is reflected in patient satisfaction surveys in addition to their overall health.
According to a study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, patients who participated had 2.5 hours fewer sleep in hospital compared to their typical sleep habits. Furthermore, the study noted a decrease in sleep quality is associated with an increase in systolic blood pressure.
Since sleep facilitates positive health outcomes, heads of health care institutions can benefit from looking into solutions to boost patient sleep. Here are 4 solutions to help improve your patient's quality of sleep:
MATCH CHECK-INS WITH SLEEP SCHEDULES
Check-ins with patients are hard to avoid as staff have to take vitals, give medicine or perform other tasks, but they could minimize the number of times they wake patients up through careful scheduling. CNN reported that doctors acknowledge the need for patient sleep and the American Hospital Association said hospitals are working to better patient-sleep policies. One way hospital staff are doing this is by lining up check-ins with patient sleep schedules. For example, nurses may have a list of items they can take care of before sleepiness sets in before 11 pm.
PROVIDE EARPLUGS OR EYE MASKS
A study published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care on patient sleep revealed some hospitals tested out the benefits of earplugs and eye masks on sleep quality. This allowed patients to block off stimuli like light and sound that may impede sleep, allowing them to fall asleep more easily. In addition to being effective, the study authors noted that earplugs and eye masks were also affordable.
SET QUIET HOURS
Similar to aligning check-ins with sleep schedules, consider blocking off certain times to avoid nursing care activities that may disturb patients. These may include six to eight hours a night and/or during the day hours to allow patients to take a nap. Hospitals may also set quiet hour policies that prohibit visitors from coming in to reduce the level of noise and encourage more rest.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT MATTRESS
Just like at home, we all sleep better on a mattress that is comfortable and suited to our individual needs. We may spend hours trying out mattresses for firmness or softness before buying the right one for our personal lives. Unfortunately, we don’t get that luxury in a healthcare setting. As a healthcare provider, taking into consideration the blend of both maximal pressure reduction properties and comfort will maximize each recovering patient’s ability to sleep better as well as reduce any risk of pressure injuries associated to their stay. The Integriderm Mattress line, for example, supports various levels of required performance and comfort in its offering.
With these changes in schedules, policies, and even the consideration given to the type of mattresses patients sleep on, patients can get higher-quality sleep and hospitals can increase their efficiency and improve patient care.