Circadian disruption of ICU patients: A review of pathways, expression, and interventions

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Abstract

Intensive care unit patients typically exhibit pathologic wakefulness, poor quality of daytime sleep, nocturnal sleep fragmentation, and sleep patterns that feature the absence of slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement. This article offers a review of the existing literature examining circadian desynchronization in critically ill patients, highlighting contributing factors identified by scholars, and circadian abnormalities observed in these patients. It discusses potential implications for clinical practice and suggests avenues of future research. Elucidating the role of circadian rhythms in the management of critical illness can guide future chronotherapeutic approaches and optimize patient outcomes.

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