Keep calm and have a good night: nurses' strategies to promote inpatients' sleep in the hospital environment

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Abstract

Patients in the hospital environment are suffering from disrupted sleep, which adversely affects their recovery process, health and well-being. The aim of this study was to explore nurses' experiences and their strategies to promote inpatients' sleep. An empirical qualitative design was applied. Eight nurses at a hospital in Sweden were purposefully selected to be included in semi-structured interviews. Burnard's method for inductively analysing interview transcripts was applied. The findings are presented in four categories: (i) prevention and planning as a sleep-promoting nursing strategy; (ii) adaptation of the environment as a sleep-promoting nursing strategy; (iii) use of drugs as a sleep-promoting nursing strategy; and (iv) caring conversation as a sleep-promoting nursing strategy. Using strategies to promote sleep is important as it affects the recovery of the patients. We argue for the use of simple strategies of sensory reduction as cost-effective sleep-promoting measures that also reduce the use of sedative drugs.

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