New initiative supports restful night’s sleep in hospital page thumbnail

Staff on a local mental health inpatient ward are implementing a new approach to helping patients sleep following an encouraging pilot.

Nurses, doctors, healthcare support workers and allied health professionals (AHPs) at The Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury, have worked together on identifying ways to help people who are staying in hospital to get a restful night’s sleep.  Everyone has a part to play and the occupational therapists are working special twilight shifts to support their colleagues to implement the new way of working.

Tina Judson from the occupational therapy team said “Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. Sleep regenerates our brains and bodies, and without it we cannot function effectively.  Whether we get a good night’s rest also has a significant impact on our mental health and for those in hospital for mental health problems it is doubly important so that they can engage with therapy and work towards getting better and out of hospital as soon as possible.”

The new evening regime includes relaxing music, sleep packs, non-caffeinated hot drinks and quiet, non-stimulating activities such as jigsaws and mindful colouring books.  Lighting is also dimmed and cleaning and other noisy activities are restricted.

The team have also provided guidance for those having difficulty sleeping and helping them to ‘re-set’ with suggestions such as listening to soothing music, low stimulus activities and taking a brief stroll on the ward to stretch your legs.

Patient feedback has been very positive and staff have already noticed people are more ready to settle down at bedtime. One patient commented that the music was ‘nice and calm’ and whilst taking part in low stimulus activities said, ‘ooh this is lovely’.

Service Manager David Wilkinson said “Staff from across the multi-disciplinary team are working together to implement this project and everyone has a part to play in making sure our ward environment is conducive to ensuring patients are ready for sleep, have a restful night, and awake refreshed.”

Clinical Matron, Sarah Oliver added “This is such a positive initiative that the AHP team are leading on, this is a highly patient centred initiative to promote health and wellbeing.  The AHPs are passionate about the care that they provide and work closely as part of the multi-disciplinary team to enhance the patient experience.”