Background: Severely ill patients often experience problems with sleep. Either acupressure or valerian aromatherapy are reported as helpful in promoting sleep.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of valerian acupressure on the sleep of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Design: A randomized clinical trial.
Setting: A 42-bed adult intensive care unit.
Participants: Forty-one subjects in the experimental group and 44 subjects in the control group.
Methods: The measurement included observation, and actigraphy measures during 10 pm-6 am, and the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) measures on the next morning. Experimental groups received valerian acupressure on the Shenmen, Neiguan, and Yongquan acupoints between 7 pm and 10 pm of the second day while control groups received regular treatment. Heart rate was measured for 5 min before and after valerian acupressure present for HR variability analysis to measure relaxation response.
Results: The results indicated that after receiving valerian acupressure, patients' sleeping hours increased, wake frequency reduced and SSS grades declined. The HR variability data indicated relaxation response immediately after valerian acupressure.
Conclusion: This study supports the hypothesis that valerian acupressure on the Shenmen, Neiguan, and Yongquan acupoints could improve the sleeping time and quality of ICU patients.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.