Sleep disruption and deprivation are commonly experienced by hospitalized patients. About half report significant insomnia, excessive daytime somnolence, or both, and health care professionals are often unaware of a patient’s sleep problems.1 Sleep deprivation is associated with elevated levels of cortisol and other stress response hormones, as well as impaired wound healing, weakened cellular immunity, worsened cognitive functioning, decreased ventilatory drive, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, and increased mortality.2- 4 Cognitive dysfunction with sleep deprivation includes delirium, impaired attention, longer reaction time, poor short-term and working memory, increased errors, reduced learning, cognitive slowing and deterioration, and decreased motivation to task.3,4
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