Patient and parent sleep in a children's hospital

Pediatr Nurs. Mar-Apr 2012;38(2):64-71; quiz 72.


Although sleep complaints during pediatric hospitalization are common, few studies have examined different aspects of sleep or the impact of pediatric hospitalization on parent sleep. This study examined multiple aspects of sleep for 72 non-intensive care pediatric inpatients and 58 rooming-in parents who completed a self-report survey of sleep at home and in the hospital, and sleep disturbances in the hospital. Younger children reported later bedtimes, later wake times, more night wakings, and shorter total sleep time while hospitalized. Adolescents had later wake times, more night wakings, and longer total sleep time during hospitalization. Parents reported later bedtimes, later wake times, and more night wakings when rooming-in. Sleep was significantly disrupted during hospitalization, more so for younger children and parents. Sleep disturbances due to noises, worries, pain, and vital sign checks were related to longer sleep onset latency, increased night wakings, and earlier wake time. Interventions that reduce these disruptions, many of which are amenable to nursing influence, are needed to improve child and parent sleep in hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Education, Continuing
  • Hospitals, Pediatric*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Parents*
  • Sleep*