Sleep Deprivation Etiologies Among Patients in the Intensive Care Unit: Literature Review



Publication Details

Al Mutair, A., Shamsan, A., Salih, S. & Al-omari, A. (2020). Sleep Deprivation Etiologies Among Patients in the Intensive Care Unit: Literature Review. Dimensions of critical care nursing, 39 (4), 203-210.


BACKGROUND: Sleep deprivation among patients is a common problem in the intensive care unit (ICU). Studies have tried to find the etiologies of sleep deprivation. Poor sleep quality in the ICU has effects such as delirium, weakening the wound healing, and anxiety. Researches have concluded that the etiologies for sleep deprivation are multifactorial. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review is to discuss the etiologies of sleep deprivation among ICU patients. This review also aims to discuss effects of sleep deprivations and provide implications for promoting sleep quality in the ICU. METHODS: For this literature review, ProQuest, MEDLINE, and Up To Date were used to find articles about sleep deprivation among ICU patients. The search was narrowed to articles between 2008 and 2019. A total of 23 articles were included that were found to match the inclusion criteria. RESULTS: Findings indicated that sleep deprivations etiologies among ICU patients can be environmental and nonenvironmental. Sensory overload, sensory deprivation, and patients' care activities are environmental etiologies for sleep deprivation. The nonenvironmental factors include pharmacological, physical, and psychological factors. DISCUSSION: Sleep deprivation etiologies are multifactorial and have several effects on ICU patients. Sleep protocol and staff training should be introduced to reduce unnecessary interventions by ICU staff. Tele-ICU monitoring can also be introduced to reduce unnecessary interventions where clinicians can monitor patients remotely and therefore enhance sleep in the ICU. During their stay in the ICU, patients can be instructed to wear earplugs and also have aromatherapy massage to reduce stress and enhance sleep quality. More research on the physical pain and the psychological factors using objective methods should be conducted in the future.

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