Adequate sleep is a critical component of illness recovery. Inadequate sleep contributes to a myriad of physiological problems, including impaired immune response, decline in wound healing, greater insulin resistance, increased perceptions of pain, and an increase in mortality. Sleep problems exacerbate the healing process during hospitalization and can endure beyond hospitalization.1–3  Researchers in one study documented that sleep difficulties may endure beyond hospitalization: 50% of respondents reported moderate to severe sleep problems 1 week after discharge. Other studies have offered evidence that sleep problems experienced during hospitalization increase the risk for development of chronic insomnia.

Acutely ill patients experience difficulty falling asleep, sleep fragmentation, decreased rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, and sleep perceived as poor quality.2,5  In hospitals, many factors can interfere with patients’ sleep. Environmental noise (eg, noisy equipment, alarms, staff interaction) is a pervasive problem....

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