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Harvard Health Blog
Getting sleep in the hospital
- By Melissa Bartick, MD, Contributor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
You wrote about Vit D but never gave the amount to take of this as a supplement?
I think the last paragraph is the most important and there should be an article devoted to just those issues. “Most hospitals can do better to make nighttime routines friendlier for patients, but institutional change can be challenging.” What more needs to be said! The medical world needs to get out of its own way and institute the changes that are obvious and not a danger to anyone, and there are many. I have far too much experience with this as I have a son with a poorly understood syndrome which has had him hospitalized dozens of times over the last decade. There is so much that can be done to make the patient experience better…if the will is there! Organizing a committee of patients and family members to come up with suggestions and monitor the implementation would be a good first step.
Silicone putty ear plugs, like the ones used for keeping water out of the ears, can work wonders. I always have those available for my icu patients.
Thank you for your article, it makes valid points, but it does lack some other points on which I shall elaborate. Quality indicators based on government intervention cite noise as a concern. Hospitals have tried to solve this problem with little success. The hospital is not a hotel. I as a medical professional of 30 years have seen how the art of caring has become more associated with government regulations and frivolous lawsuits. I want to make your stay as enjoyable as possible, but again this is not a hotel. People do not choose to spend their birthday, holiday, or any day confined to a sick bed. The sounds in a hospital are the sounds of misery, but also of healing hands at work. Broken bones hurt as do broken hearts when your loved one has a broken bone. Sickness knows no resting hour. Our me me me, and only me society has little concern for others misery. It is sad that one cannot be allowed to cry if they have pain, or cry if a loved one dies. Yes, we have visiting hours, but patients come in all night long. Nurses and doctors need to communicate at all times of the day and night to take care of you or your loved ones. Most of us do not know sign language so we have to talk. Institutionally, nurses and doctors speak in low voice tones at night and stop overhead paging after certain hours to minimize noise. Please do your part if you are unfortunate and need to be in the hospital yourself; try not to scream too loud when your leg is broken, or your child just got in an accident. In conclusion the hospital will never be a good place to get proper rest based on what it is. Be safe out there, and be good to each other everyday.
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