Sleep hygiene intervention improves sleep for hospital patients

May 26, 2021

A new study in the June 2021 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety implemented a non-pharmacologic sleep hygiene bundle intervention to improve patients’ sleep in hospitals, announced the commission. 

The study, “A Sleep Hygiene Intervention to Improve Sleep Quality for Hospitalized Patients,” used the Richards-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ) and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question addressing quietness at night to measure self-reported sleep for patients on a general medicine unit. (The study did not seek to decrease the frequency of medical interventions overnight, focusing only on sleep hygiene.) 

The sleep hygiene bundle is composed of a short script with sleep hygiene prompts, such as whether patients would like the shades closed or the lights turned off, as well as a sleep package including an eye mask, ear plugs, lavender scent pad and non-caffeinated tea. Relaxing music was played at bedtime, and signs promoting the importance of quietness at night were placed around the unit. Front-line champions were identified to aid with the implementation. 

A total of 931 patients received the sleep intervention. In a sample of surveyed patients, the RCSQ global score increased from 6.0 to 6.2 from the pre- to post-intervention periods, as well as in three of the five individual survey components. Additionally, the HCAHPS “quietness at night” score increased from 34.1% to 42.5% from the pre- to post-intervention periods. 

The researchers conclude that a non-pharmacologic sleep hygiene protocol, paired with provider education and use of champions, were associated with modest improvements in patients’ perceived sleep. 

The Joint Commission has the release