Patients who spend the night in the emergency room may get much less rest than patients who sleep in beds in hospital rooms, a small study suggests.
For the study, researchers surveyed 49 emergency room patients waiting to be admitted to the hospital and 44 people already admitted to inpatient wards. They asked the patients to describe noise levels in their rooms and rate sleep quality on a scale from 1 to 100, from worst to best. The questions focused on five aspects: how lightly or deeply they slept; how easily they fell asleep; how often they awoke during the night; how easily they returned to sleep when they did wake up; and whether they thought they had a good or bad night’s sleep.
After researchers accounted for patient characteristics that might impact sleep like their age and the severity of their illness or injury, they still found that people who got inpatient rooms rated their sleep environment as 65% quieter than patients stuck in the ER for the night.