Factors affecting residents’ sleep in care homes
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Factors affecting residents’ sleep in care homes

Theresa Ellmers Research associate, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Kingston/St George’s University, London
Sara Arber Professor of sociology, University of Surrey
Rebekah Luff Senior research fellow, National Centre for Research Methods, University of Southampton
Ingrid Eyers Visiting fellow, Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, University of Surrey
Emma Young Stroke researcher, Acute Stroke and Brain Injury Unit, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Theresa Ellmers and colleagues explore opportunities to develop practice and help people get a good night’s sleep

Aim The aim of this study was to undertake a detailed exploration of sleep in the context of 24 hours in a care home environment, exploring the subjective experience of residents and the perceptions of staff.

Method Qualitative research in four care homes for older people consisting of semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations. Interviews were conducted with 38 residents and 39 staff, and were analysed using a grounded theory approach.

Findings The findings have highlighted some challenges and opportunities for developing practice in care homes to improve residents’ sleep. In addition to pain and physical disabilities, the physical environment and practices in care homes can affect residents’ sleep and night-time experience.

Conclusion Improving our understanding of residents’ and staff’s experiences at night in care homes can inform the development of good practice in night-time care and contribute to a positive culture of person-centred care.

Nursing Older People. 25, 8, 29-32. doi: 10.7748/nop2013.



Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 19 March 2013

Accepted: 14 May 2013

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