Improving sleep for patients in acute hospitals
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Improving sleep for patients in acute hospitals

Christine Norton Florence Nightingale professor of clinical nursing research, King’s College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England
David Flood Formerly Sleep Project Manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England
Andy Brittin Lead site nurse practitioner, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England
Jane Miles Formerly chief executive, Imperial College Healthcare Charity, London, England

Sleep is important to health and recovery from illness, but is known to be difficult in hospital. This article describes a quality improvement project conducted on 18 wards in acute hospitals. Patients reported sleeping an average of five hours per night, and 47% (352/749) rated their sleep quality as good or excellent in hospital. Individualised ward action plans were implemented. At follow up, disturbance by noise and light had fallen significantly and 69% (540/783) of patients rated their sleep as good or excellent, 22% more than before the intervention (P<0.001). Local interventions such as improving staff awareness of noise, installing window blinds and turning down equipment alarms improved the patient experience of sleep.

Correspondence christine.norton@kcl.ac.uk

Nursing Standard. 29, 28,35-42. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.28.35.e8947

Received: 05 March 2014

Accepted: 09 September 2014

Published in print: 11 March 2015

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review