Hour-of-sleep care meets the patient’s physical and psychological needs in preparation for sleep. It includes providing for the patient’s hygiene, making the bed clean and comfortable, and ensuring safety. For example, raising the bed’s side rails can prevent the drowsy or sedated patient from falling out. This type of care also provides an opportunity to answer the patient’s questions about the next day’s tests and procedures and to discuss his worries and concerns.
Effective hour-of-sleep care prepares the patient for a good night’s sleep. Ineffective care may contribute to sleeplessness, which can intensify patient anxiety and interfere with treatment and recuperation.
Bedpan, urinal, or commode ▪ basin ▪ skin cleaner ▪ towel ▪ washcloth ▪ toothbrush and toothpaste ▪ denture cup and commercial denture cleaner, if necessary ▪ lotion ▪ clean linens, if necessary ▪ blanket ▪ facial tissues ▪ gloves, if necessary ▪ Optional: earplugs, gloves.
Preparation of Equipment
Gather the equipment at the patient’s bedside. For the ambulatory patient who is capable of self-care, gather skin cleaner, a washcloth, a towel, and oral hygiene items at the sink.
Confirm the patient’s identity using at least two patient identifiers according to your facility’s policy.4
Tell the patient you will help him prepare for sleep, and provide privacy.
Offer the patient on bed rest a bedpan or urinal. Otherwise, assist the ambulatory patient to the bathroom or commode.
Fill the basin with warm water and bring it to the patient’s bedside. Wash the patient’s face and hands and dry them well. Encourage the patient to wash himself, if possible, to promote independence.
Provide toothpaste or a properly labeled denture cup and commercial denture cleaner. Assist the patient with oral hygiene, as necessary. (See “Oral care,” page 524.) If the patient prefers to wear dentures until bedtime, leave denture-care items within easy reach.
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