When people are in a hospital they get much less sleep, wake up more often during the night and awaken earlier in the morning than they do when they’re in their own homes, reports a study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine, reports MinnPost.
Yes, yes. Those findings may make this seem like a “duh” study. Anybody who has spent a night in a hospital knows only too well that a host of factors can interfere with sleep in those institutions. Some are patient-related, like pain and worry, while others are hospital-related, like noise and being awoken for medical tests and procedures.
Yet, despite the ubiquitousness of the problem — or perhaps because of it — hospitals need to figure out ways of minimizing it. That’s because sleep deprivation in hospitals has been linked to a host of medical complications. Not getting enough sleep can, for example, negatively affect the way the body’s immune and endocrine systems work, thus interfering with healing. Interrupted sleep can also play havoc with blood pressure, raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.