Sleep is important for human neurocognitive, emotional and physical health. Increasing evidence shows that the intensive care unit environment is disruptive to sleep patterns. Such disruption is unpleasant to patients, but mounting evidence suggests that it may also worsen outcome. However, improvements in the patient experience are readily obtained through simple measures such as the use of eyepads and earplugs. Early data suggest that such interventions are not only kind, but may impact on patient outcomes such as delirium rates.
Key words: sleep, light, noise, sound, eyepad, earplug