This review sought to assess the effectiveness of nonpharmacological interventions for sleep promotion in critically ill adults in the intensive care unit (ICU). It also sought to establish whether nonpharmacological interventions are safe and clinically effective in improving sleep quality and reducing ICU length of stay and whether nonpharmacological interventions are cost-effective.

Sleep is a basic human need and a critical component in healing during times of critical illness. Patients in the ICU often suffer from poor sleep and frequent awakenings. Just some of the reasons for this include the underlying illness, pain and discomfort from ICU interventions, physical and psychological stress, age-related changes in sleep patterns, and the ICU environment itself. Research has shown that some of the adverse effects of poor sleep in the critically ill population involve impaired immune function, altered weaning from mechanical ventilation, higher rates of delirium,...

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