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An evaluation of sleep disturbance on in-patient psychiatric units in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Sam Horne, Dr Katherine Hay, Dr Stuart Watson, Dr Kirstie Anderson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© Royal College of Psychiatrists. All rights reserved. Aims and method Sleep disturbance is common on in-patient psychiatry wards. This study explored subjective and objective patterns of sleep disturbance and contributory environmental factors. Participants were recruited from mental health acute admission wards and had a range of subjective and objective assessments of sleep. Light intensity and noise levels were measured to characterise potential environmental causes for poor sleep. Results We recruited 20 patients; 15% were high risk for obstructive sleep apnoea. Nineteen participants reported poor sleep quality on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and 90% had significant sleep fragmentation with objective measures. Inside light levels were low (day <200 lux and night <10 lux). Night sound levels were 40-90 db. Clinical implications Sleep disturbance was highly prevalent. Increased awareness of sleep disorders is needed. Modifiable environmental factors on the ward were implicated, therefore increased awareness and a change of approach to sleep disturbance in in-patient psychiatry is recommended. Declaration of interest None.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Horne S, Hay K, Watson S, Anderson KN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychiatrist

Year: 2018

Volume: 42

Issue: 5

Pages: 193-197

Print publication date: 01/10/2018

Online publication date: 21/06/2018

Acceptance date: 11/05/2018

Date deposited: 10/10/2018

ISSN (print): 1758-3209

ISSN (electronic): 1758-3217

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjb.2018.42


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