Sleep for Recovery in Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers: Raman Malhotra, MD


Just as sleep is a necessity each night, it is of further benefit when patients are recovering from injury in the hospital and rehabilitation settings.

“There is data suggesting that patients do better when they are able to sleep more comfortably and in a quiet environment after suffering a neurological disease.”

In conversation with NeurologyLive, Raman Malhotra, MD, associate professor of neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, commented on the importance of sleep for patients recovering from injury and neurological disorders in both the acute care setting and later in long-term care facilities. Ensuring proper lighting, noise control, and other factors can help to aid in patients’ sleep while they remain under medical supervision. 

Malhotra’s comments highlight a major point of a recent position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which outlines the importance of sleep as a biological necessity. Prioritizing sleep for patients during transitions from one setting to another may have a major impact on how well patients recover. According to Malhotra, steps to facilitate better sleep are relatively simple to enact; however, it is important that direct attention is called to their implementation. 

Although some hospitals do actively prioritize sleep and ensure patients and staff are cognizant of methods to create healthy sleep settings, few official standards are currently in place, Malhotra explained. Implementing noise and lighting control, in addition to monitoring patients’ sleep are just a few ways to optimize sleep conditions, according to the AASM statement. 

Ramar K, Malhotra RK, Carden KA, et al. Sleep is essential to health: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. Published online June 21, 2021. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.9476 
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