A Systematic Review of Risk Factors for Sleep Disruption in Critically Ill Adults Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objectives: Numerous risk factors for sleep disruption in critically ill adults have been described. We performed a systematic review of all risk factors associated with sleep disruption in the ICU setting. Data Sources: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Study Selection: English-language studies of any design published between 1990 and April 2018 that evaluated sleep in greater than or equal to 10 critically ill adults (> 18 yr old) and investigated greater than or equal to 1 potential risk factor for sleep disruption during ICU stay. We assessed study quality using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale or Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Data Extraction: We abstracted all data independently and in duplicate. Potential ICU sleep disruption risk factors were categorized into three categories based on how data were reported: 1) patient-reported reasons for sleep disruption, 2) patient-reported ratings of potential factors affecting sleep quality, and 3) studies reporting a statistical or temporal association between potential risk factors and disrupted sleep. Data Synthesis: Of 5,148 citations, we included 62 studies. Pain, discomfort, anxiety/fear, noise, light, and ICU care-related activities are the most common and widely studied patient-reported factors causing sleep disruption. Patients rated noise and light as the most sleep-disruptive factors. Higher number of comorbidities, poor home sleep quality, home sleep aid use, and delirium were factors associated with sleep disruption identified in available studies. Conclusions: This systematic review summarizes all premorbid, illness-related, and ICU-related factors associated with sleep disruption in the ICU. These findings will inform sleep promotion efforts in the ICU and guide further research in this field.


  • Honarmand, Kimia
  • Rafay, Hammad
  • Le, Jamie
  • Mohan, Sindu
  • Rochwerg, Bram
  • Devlin, John W
  • Skrobik, Yoanna
  • Weinhouse, Gerald L
  • Drouot, Xavier
  • Watson, Paula L
  • McKinley, Sharon
  • Bosma, Karen J

publication date

  • July 2020