1. Crawford, Sara MSN, RN, CCRN
  2. Utt, Aaron BSN, RN, CPN
  3. Beebe, Caylin BSN, RN, CPN
  4. Armbruster, Renee BSN, RN, CCRN
  5. Fisher, Amanda BSN, RN, CPN
  6. Olney, Adrienne MS
  7. Sherman, Ashley K. MS
  8. Roberts, Cristine PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the amount and type of hospitalized children's nighttime sleep interruptions, perceptions, and efficiency.


BACKGROUND: Sleep in hospitals is notoriously poor and impedes healing. Pediatric studies have been limited including breadth of diagnoses, age, or measures.


METHODS: Actigraphy, sleep surveys, and nursing diaries were used to describe sleep on 2 nursing units along with environmental assessments.


RESULTS: Ninety-five children from 1 month to 17 years with multiple diagnoses participated. The median number of awakenings was 2.7 per night. The median for the longest uninterrupted episode of sleep was 5.5 hours. Children need 8 to 17 hours of daily sleep, while this sample had a median of 7.5 hours of night sleep. Sensors showed talk as the predominant noise, whereas surveys showed alarms and vital signs awakened patients.


CONCLUSIONS: Children are not getting essential, minimally interrupted sleep in hospitals. Disseminating results will increase awareness and accelerate environmental changes.