Back To CourseNursing 101: Fundamentals of Nursing
14 chapters | 106 lessons
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 75,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Try it risk-free
I recently moved to a new city. Here, I live very close to the highway. While the noise pollution is minimal, I come from a far quieter part of the country where there is no noise pollution, so for me, that minimal increase in noise is significant enough to keep me awake. So much so, that I've had to use earplugs to help me fall and stay asleep. Maybe one day I'll get used to the noise, but for now, that's what I have to do.
Noise pollution is just one factor that influences rest and sleep. A hospital patient's stay, and for this lesson's sake, rest and sleep, are influenced by a myriad of factors as well. This lesson will point them out for you.
Let's face it. Our lifestyle influences the amount and quality of sleep we get all of the time. Those of us who smoke, consume alcohol, or are quite big on caffeinated drinks are going to suffer the consequences of getting little sleep or poor quality sleep as a result.
If you exercise in the morning or day, congratulations! Not only are you keeping healthy, but you are actually going to enjoy better sleep, all else held equal, than people who do not exercise. However, if you exercise within one to two hours of bedtime, then you should remember this will hinder your sleep.
We also have to factor in where someone works. People who work during the night have trouble getting enough sleep during the day, and even people who work during the day can have poor quality sleep at night, as a result of the stresses encountered in their work environment. Stress can also occur from problems with family or friends, like arguments or financial troubles, which can ruin a person's sleep.
While we can all choose to exercise earlier and to forego the $10 morning Startenbucks latte, some factors may be outside of our control. These include some environmental factors and health concerns.
If there's a lot of noise pollution, then obviously like myself, a person is going to have trouble sleeping. If you live in a home that doesn't have air conditioning, and it's a hot summer night, that's going to be a hard environment to sleep in.
People who suffer from intractable, meaning resistant-to-treatment, unmanageable, pain, will obviously have a hard time sleeping or getting quality sleep. Itching, difficulty breathing, fever, the need to urinate a lot, and plenty of other medical problems can keep a person awake, as well.
In a hospital setting, the promotion of sleep is a critical nursing function. Remember, it is during sleep that the body restores itself the most. Thus, the promotion of sleep itself, as well as high quality sleep, is a very important aspect of patient care. So, what can you do to help a patient sleep?
First, do all you can to ensure the environment is just right. Ask the patient what their room temperature preference is. I know for a fact I can't sleep well when it's above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For many people that's way too cold, but for me, anything above that is too hot.
Given that, I also like to snuggle up in many blankets at night. So, give the patient as many blankets or pillows as they like. While some people like to sleep in complete darkness, a small nightlight may help in some cases since patients may not know their way around a hospital room. Safety is just as important as sleep.
And given that, ensure that pathways from the bed to the bathroom and from the bed to the door are clear of any obstacles. This is doubly true if the patient is elderly or has trouble walking or maintaining balance.
Finally, don't forget to close the door to minimize noise pollution. I know, given my introductory example, I'd appreciate it.
Keeping the environment conducive to sleep is important, but so is patient comfort and relaxation, which often go hand in hand. You can help wash a patient's face and hands, brush their teeth, detangle their hair, and offer a snack and warm milk, if they like. Some patients will need to be assisted with toileting and repositioning in bed to keep comfortable.
Back massages can greatly help a patient relax. So can soft and relaxing music. Of course, for some people the music will be a distraction, so meditation and a quiet environment may help them relax more.
Another great way to help a patient feel comfortable and relaxed is to simply ask them questions about how they are feeling. Ask them if they feel worried about anything or if they are in pain. Sometimes, just listening can help a person begin to relax. Literally, just listening and nothing more can help some people chill out after they vent a little bit.
If a patient complains of pain, of course, then pain medication needs to be administered as necessary to help a person sleep soundly. One critical thing to note, as I'm a stickler for pain relief, is that if a patient complains of, or is clearly giving off signs of pain, then treat the pain. Just because a patient falls asleep despite their complaints of pain, that doesn't mean they aren't in pain. Treat the pain. They may have a torrid night tossing and turning and getting bits and pieces of sleep if they don't get the pain relief they need.
And in some cases, some patients will be unable to fall asleep in a hospital setting no matter what. In these instances, sleep medication may be prescribed by a physician on an as-needed basis.
This lesson provided just some examples of the factors that influence rest and sleep, and there are many more. And there are many other things you'll learn to perform to help a patient get and maintain quality restorative sleep.
Remember, sleep is influenced by environmental, physiological, and emotional factors. Things like caffeine, exercise, medical conditions, and stress can all influence the quality and duration of a person's sleep.
You can also help a person sleep by listening to their needs, asking questions, assisting in their daily functions if they need help, and maintaining a comfortable and sound environment. And don't forget, if a patient is suffering from or complaining of intractable, that is to say resistant-to-treatment, unmanageable pain, or any pain, always treat the pain.
Rest and sleep can be influenced by environmental, physiological, and emotional factors. For the majority of these factors, you can control or mitigate to encourage a good night's rest. However, in some instances, if you or the patient is suffering from intractable pain, then you need to treat the pain. Communication will help a great deal, especially if you are treating patients.
Upon reviewing this lesson, you should be able to identify the different factors that can impact rest and sleep, as well as describe ways to control them. If in a hospital setting, describe how you would be able to treat and keep a patient comfortable to ensure a restful sleep.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Already a member? Log InBack
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Back To CourseNursing 101: Fundamentals of Nursing
14 chapters | 106 lessons