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Patients’ sleep is trapped in a sleepy organization

Time for action - patients' sleep is trapped in a sleepy Organization and it is now time to take action and highlight and promote patients' sleep during hospital care

Today, sleeping problems are increasing in the community at large and are considered as a threat to public health. Sleep deprivation and related conditions are regarded as a public health problem in terms of both prevalence and consequences. Sleeping at hospital is considered as a challenge and a stressor for many patients. A person with a disease and/or a bodily injury is vulnerable to sleep deprivation in terms of bio-cognitive consequences, e.g. inflammatory processes, negative effects on the immune system and reduced cognitive performance. Both short and long-term sleep deprivation can cause negative effects. Therefore, sleep deprivation among patients cared for in acute hospital should be considered to be an important area to address actively in order to achieve positive changes and development. Sleep is considered as a basic need for a person and in nursing care. It is important to meet patients’ needs and actively address health-promoting interventions. Nurses are strategically well positioned, being in the immediate vicinity of their patients and thereby, they have also an absolute responsibility to identify sleep problems, as well as to address and promote sleep. Furthermore, nurses have an obligation to identify and minimize factors that may be disruptive for patients’ sleep, and to plan and conduct nursing care co-ordinated during the night based on the importance of coherent sleep. To address patients’ sleep, nurses need knowledge about sleep physiology, sleep-promoting interventions and health promotion. From a nursing perspective, it is therefore important to explore and describe how patients’ sleep is addressed, promoted and assessed during hospital care. Actions that may lead to a change in a positive direction regarding patients’ sleep must be regarded as a profit for society, health care, and not least for the individual.

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