Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home > About us > News > News archive > 2014 > Helping patients to get a good night’s sleep

Helping patients to get a good night’s sleep

01 September 2014

Being in hospital is a very anxious time for patients and their loved ones, and we know that getting a good night’s sleep is important for recovery.

Being in hospital is a very anxious time for patients and their loved ones, and we know that getting a good night’s sleep is important for recovery. Hospitals are busy places and sometimes we need to disturb people during the night for their care and treatment, but we need to make every effort to ensure people can maintain their sleep pattern as much as possible.

To help us do this and as a reminder we have developed a ‘Goodnight Guide’ for staff and patients. It will help us work together to enable patients whenever possible to have a ‘Goodnight’.

The Goodnight guide

It can be very strange coming into hospital and it is important for health and recovery that we ensure patients get the best night’s sleep possible. We have listened to what patients and staff have told us and recommend the following to help everyone have a good night.

What you can do

  • Prepare for sleep as you normally would—routines are important
  • Get everything ready that you might need in the night so it is close at hand
  • Ask our staff if there is anything you need—eye masks and ear-plugs
  • Listen to your TV through headphones
  • Put your phone on silent and take telephone calls away from shared areas
  • Keep noise to a minimum
  • Turn down your light when you are ready to go to sleep
  • Let staff know if you need any pain relief

What we can do

  • Stick to ward visiting times to allow patients to rest
  • Remind the patient it is night time and check if they need anything
  • Reduce noise, bustle and non-urgent activity from midnight–6am
  • Talk quietly to each other and patients at this time
  • Check patients have everything they need to have a good night
  • Have everything required ready in the patient area
  • Reduce bright lighting at night time
  • Answer any buzzers or alarms promptly

What our patient representative said

Patient representative Patricia Evans spent two nights on our wards—a night on Nell Gwynne Ward and a night on the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) to find out whether our guide is working and what more we can do to help patients’ have a “goodnight”.

Patricia said: “To begin, the night (on AAU) started peacefully but it later became fairly regularly disturbed, but I must say that it was only the quiet noise of a working ward and there were no incidents of ward staff chatter and laughter at all.

“The staff were very diligent through the night attending the bells and necessary requirements.

“There were short periods where all sound dropped right down and the ward was at rest but these were short and infrequent. However, patients on the unit were sound asleep for short periods now and again, between burst of activity and sound. The staff were often quite busy with demands and care.

“It was a good night generally—given its acute necessities—and staff were kind and well-spoken to the patients at all times.”