Sleep as an Occupational Need

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Abstract

In the same way the human body requires food, hydration, and oxygen, it also requires sleep. Even among healthy people, the amount and quality of sleep substantially influence health and quality of life because sleep helps regulate physiological functioning. Given the impact of sleep on participation, the American Occupational Therapy Association reclassified sleep from an activity of daily living to an occupational domain. Poor sleep is a frequent medical complaint, especially among populations with neurological impairment. Occupational therapy practitioners should consider routinely screening for factors affecting their clients' sleep. By addressing such factors, as well as related routines and habits, practitioners can enhance the effectiveness of rehabilitation, promote health and well-being, and increase engagement and life quality. Practitioners should acknowledge the importance of sleep in practice, and the study of sleep should be prioritized by researchers in the field to meet client needs and establish evidence for interventions.

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