A new article on the current knowledge of sleep disturbances in the ICU was featured in the latest issue of Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavia. Sleep disturbances in the ICU environment is a significant problem and has many underlying causes – but is a difficult phenomenon to observe due to the physical status of the patient group. This study aimed to describe what research has given in terms of knowledge so far, and then focus on causes and keys for handling these critically ill patients.
There are many factors affecting sleep for this group of patients, both related to the severity of the illness, drugs given and the ICU environment itself with round-the-clock sounds and care interventions. Which factor that is most decisive is not yet known but is critical to investigate in further research as sleep disturbances in in ICU patients is correlated to prolonged lengths of stay, incidence of ICU delirium and higher mortality.
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