To contact us Click HERE From USA Today. This story is reason enough for you to conduct your life in such a way as to NOT need to go to the hospital! Not only the lack of decent sleep, but the food, and the medicines can also hinder your recovery.
"A barrage of electronic alarms and conversations in hospitals leads to something more ominous than tossing and turning at night. Restless sleep can mean slower recoveries, new research says.
To avoid experimenting on people who were actually sick and recovering in a hospital, a team of researchers chose to study 12 healthy adults as they slept in a hospital lab using sounds that had been recorded in a hospital for two nights. They found patients were easily awakened by electronic sounds such as a blaring IV alert (that signals when someone needs more medicines or fluids) and human conversations. Although patients may not remember waking in the night, restless sleepers may experience more agitation, elevated stress and impaired immune function, researchers say.
Loud talking can obviously be disruptive. But some sounds such as ice machines and rolling laundry carts, even played at a volume close to a whisper, also woke subjects at the Harvard University lab, according to the study, published this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researcher Orfeu Buxton said research has proved disrupted sleep and sedative-aided sleep are associated with hypertension, attention and memory deficits, depressed moods and more return visits to the hospital. To combat the racket, many hospitals make noise reduction a priority when planning new facilities. Anthony Perry, a geriatric physician and clinical officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said he has seen disrupted sleep aggravate patients to the point of delirium.
"Clinically, it was a topic we really wanted to see improved," Perry said.
In the new Rush hospital, open since January, officials made patient rooms private and insulated them with an extra layer of drywall. They installed carpet in the hallways, acoustic ceiling tiles and lights that automatically dim at night.
"When the light level goes down, it helps (nurses) remember to be thoughtful about how much noise they're making in the corridor with conversations and that kind of thing," Perry said.
The hospital was one of many to adopt a nurse calling system that sends alerts straight to nurses' phones and turns off beeping monitor alarms as soon as the nurse enters a patient's room, said Lauren Sporce, a pediatric nurse at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
The new children's hospital uses acoustic ceiling tiles and carpeted nursing stations, sliding doors that seal out noise, private single-patient rooms and a monitor alarm system to quiet noise. Patient satisfaction surveys showed noisy footsteps and alarms aggravated patients in the old building, said Children's Hospital of Chicago nurse Dana Lerma.
Noise consistently ranked among patients' top two complaints, Sporce said, and both visitors and nurses have shown improved moods since moving to the quieter building.
"There's a lot more to sleep than just time with your head against the pillow," said Buxton,, an author of the study. "The brain is trained to pay attention to obnoxious alarms, and it doesn't stop working at night."
David Kuhlmann, a sleep specialist at Missouri's Bothwell Regional Health Center, said facilities should keep taking steps to ease patients' stays, especially for those who are most at risk.
"Sleep is supposed to be a time of restoration," Kuhlmann said. "For someone who's maybe had some mild cognitive impairment ... poor sleep can be the difference between having a good day or a not-good day, and hospitals need to take this into account."
I'm a light sleeper, so I go to bed an hour before Hubby does--that way, I can sleep through his snoring.