Q Patients in our intensive care unit report lack of sleep on post-discharge evaluations. What can our team do to improve that?

A Michelle J. Kidd, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-K, FCNS, replies:

Sleep deprivation in critically ill patients is common, with a reported prevalence of 46% to 100%. Disruption of sleep is one of the most stressful aspects of critical illness and contributes to poor outcomes, including increased morbidity, mortality, and length of stay and other adverse effects and complications.2–5  Sleep deprivation during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay may contribute to depression, posttraumatic stress disorders, and decreased quality of life even years after discharge. In addition, the Society of Critical Care Medicine has indicated that inadequate sleep contributes to the occurrence of delirium in critically ill patients. Improving sleep in this population is essential to mitigate adverse effects and minimize length of stay...

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