ArticleSleep in the Intensive Care Unit SettingPatel, Maulik MD; Chipman, Joseph MD; Carlin, Brian W. MD; Shade, Daniel MDAuthor Information Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine (Drs Patel, Carlin, and Shade) and Division of Neurology (Dr Chipman), Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Corresponding Author: Daniel Shade, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 ([email protected]). Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: October 2008 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 309-318 doi: 10.1097/01.CNQ.0000336816.89300.41 Buy Take the CE Test Metrics Abstract Sleep is essential to human life. Sleep patterns are significantly disrupted in patients who are hospitalized, particularly those in the intensive care unit. Sleep deprivation is pervasive in this patient population and impacts health and recovery from illness. Immune system dysfunction, impaired wound healing, and changes in behavior are all observed in patients who are sleep deprived. Various factors including anxiety, fear, and pain are responsible for the sleep deprivation. Noise, light exposure, and frequent awakenings from caregivers also add to these effects. Underlying medical illnesses and medications can also dramatically affect a patient's ability to sleep efficiently. Therapy with attempts to minimize sleep disruption should be integrated among all of the caregivers. Minimization of analgesics and other medications known to adversely affect sleep should also be ensured. Although further research in the area of sleep deprivation in the intensive care unit setting needs to be conducted, effective protocols can be developed to minimize sleep deprivation in these settings. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.