Helping Patients Sleep Better

Older patients often have difficulty sleeping in the hospital due to noise or interruptions. Sleeping pills can be effective, but often have side effects. The GENESIS program strives to promote better sleeping patterns while avoiding the use of sleeping pills.

Common problems resulting from lack of sleep include:

  • Decreased energy
  • Increased confusion or delirium
  • Poor appetite

Some side effects of sleeping pills are:

  • The patient may be sleepy the next day
  • The patient may become dependent on sleeping pills
  • Sleeping pills may cause confusion
  • Sleeping pills may cause falls or imbalance

As an alternative to sleeping pills, nurses in the GENESIS program:

  • Offer a warm drink
  • Offer a back rub
  • Play soft, slow music
  • Adjust room temperature
  • Dim the lights
  • Make sure the patient is in a comfortable position
  • Avoid giving the patient drinks containing caffeine and foods with large amounts of sugar
  • Avoid waking up the patient to take vital signs or give medication, if possible.

For more information about the GENESIS program, please call 401-793-3162.