Residents’ Top 5 Complaints About Nursing Homes: #4

Posted by Dr. El - September 9, 2010 - Communication - 7 Comments
Complaint #4: Nighttime disturbances

The main culprits:
  • TVs blaring into the wee hours
  • Agitated neighbors
  • Loud conversations between workers
Steps toward improved sleep hygiene:
  • Implement a TV curfew and require night owl viewers to use headsets past the curfew
  • Encourage night shift workers to report resident sleeplessness so sleep/wake cycle disturbances can be reversed and medications adjusted if necessary.
  • As part of inservice training, address ways in which night staff can communicate with each other to avoid disturbing sleeping residents.
Good sleep hygiene on an individual basis can reduce irritability, improve memory, and promote healing. Good sleep hygiene on a unit-wide basis is good customer service that can benefit the physical and mental health of residents and reduce conflict between residents (it’s hard to be friendly toward someone who’s kept you up all night).