Credentials Display

McKenzie C Bolin, OTDS

Melissa M Sweetman, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, CLA


Sleep hygiene is well-established in the scope of occupational therapy practice; however, this occupation is rarely addressed in the intensive care unit (ICU). The majority of health care practitioners believe patients experience reduced sleep quality in the ICU, which can negatively impact patient outcomes. Through a review of the literature, this paper identifies common factors that negatively influence sleep quality and duration and proposes evidence-based interventions to improve patients’ sleep. Factors that influence sleep and fall in the domain of occupational therapy practice include the environment, psychosocial elements, and patient care. Occupational therapists can use interventions, such as orienting patients during the day, creating sleep-promoting routines, and educating patients on the use of adaptive equipment (earplugs, eye masks, or sound machines for relaxing music). Role confusion and a lack of prioritization of sleep have led to the occupation of rest and sleep not being addressed. This paper will suggest implications for the future of the profession that includes establishing leadership positions on a multidisciplinary team to improve patients’ sleep.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.