Rest is vital for patients in the hospital as it can improve recovery times and make their stay more comfortable. However, sleep in hospitals can be difficult for patients. Studies show that 44 per cent of patients experience problems sleeping in the hospital, and most of these patients do not get enough rest. This can lead to poor outcomes for patients, so it's important for staff members to understand how their environment affects sleep.
Fear and anxiety impact hospital stay sleep
Many patients who cannot sleep in the hospital do so because of factors beyond their control, including fear and anxiety, pain and other clinical complications of their condition.
Fear is a major obstacle to sleep. Patients may be afraid of:
• The unknown (what is going on with my body? Will I survive this illness?)
• The future (can I recover fully from my illness? What if my disease returns?)
• Pain (will I be able to sleep through the night without waking up with intense pain?)
• Being alone (will there be someone there to comfort me if I wake up feeling scared or alone?)
Fear can also stem from anxiety about being in the hospital or sick at home while friends and family members are away working or caring for others. When people feel helpless, they may experience a greater level of fear than those who are able to take some control over their situation by doing things like making decisions about treatment options or looking after themselves as best as possible under difficult circumstances.
Uncertainty is also a part of poor sleep in hospital
Patients also reported being concerned about their condition and uncertain about how it will affect them in the future. They described a fear that they would not be able to function normally or recover completely, or that they might even die.
They were also worried about what would happen to their family members if they were unable to provide for them physically or financially. Patients often expressed concern over how much pain they might experience during recovery and whether their families would be able to cope with caring for them.
Ultimately, these concerns affected sleep patterns in two ways: firstly by decreasing total sleep time; secondly by reducing the quality of sleep (i.e., patients woke up multiple times throughout the night).
Pain makes it hard for patients to sleep
Pain is another factor that makes it hard for patients to sleep. Pain can be caused by many different things, including surgery, infection and disease. The following are some of the most common types of pain:
• Visceral pain: This type of pain originates in the internal organs and includes heartburn, nausea and abdominal cramps. It might occur when you're ill or after surgery.
• Neuropathic pain: This form of chronic or acute pain comes from damage to nerves in your body—for example if you have diabetes and lose sensation in your feet (neuropathy). Treatment may include medications such as gabapentin or ketamine injections.
External factors impact hospital sleeping
External factors can also impact the sleep quality of patients in hospitals. For example, some patients are unable to get enough rest because of noises from other patients, staff and equipment. There are also interruptions like checking blood pressure or pulse rates, which can happen every two hours for many patients.
The light from the hallway and bathroom can be disruptive as well; this is particularly true if you're resting on your back instead of sleeping on your side.
Seeing other patients can be disturbing. If you're in a shared room, you may feel uncomfortable with the person in the next bed because he or she doesn't make sense. For example, you may see someone who is so dehydrated that their lips are dry and cracked but can't understand them when they speak.
You may feel unsettled by the way some people behave or look; for example, if someone is hallucinating, it could be upsetting to hear them talk about things that don't exist.
Certain conditions make it difficult to sleep in hospital
Many patients with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty sleeping. It is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, language, and the ability to think and reason. The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, but researchers do know that it results from changes in a specific protein called beta-amyloid found in the brain cells. These changes cause plaques to develop inside brain cells. These plaques are made up of beta-amyloid proteins as well as other substances including fibre-like structures called tau protein filaments that interfere with communication between nerve cells in the brain (Alzheimer's Association).
Hospital staff need to be aware of these factors to improve patient well-being
Some patients are at risk of experiencing sleep deprivation in the hospital environment. Being away from home and family, undergoing painful or stressful procedures, and being surrounded by people who are sick can all contribute to sleep problems.
Hospital staff should be aware of these factors so that they can help patients get better rest while they are in the hospital. Here's how you can help:
• Talk with families about their loved one's normal sleep habits and suggest ways to make it easier for them to fall asleep or stay asleep during this time when their loved one is away from home.
• Keep your patient's room dark and quiet as much as possible at night.
• If possible, have visitors come to see patients during the day when there are fewer people around.
• Ensure the facility is using the right type of beds, such as those used in care home settings.
In conclusion, patients who have trouble sleeping in the hospital should speak with their doctor about what they can do to improve their sleep. If this doesn't work, then it might be time to find a new doctor or hospital that can help solve this problem.