Best practices for managing sleep in intensive care patients to reduce the risk of delirium

This document was published more than 2 years ago. The nature of the evidence may have changed.

Delirium is a disturbance of consciousness with reduced ability to focus, sustain or shift attention, which develops over a short period of time and involves a change in cognition. It may lead to higher morbidity, long term deterioration of cognitive and functional processes and mortality. Seriously ill intensive care patients may experience their care as extremely strenuous due to pain, anxiety, foreign environment and side effects of various potent drugs. Many factors may thus contribute to the development of delirium. Disturbed sleep is an additional important factor.


Which practices for sedation in intensive care result in adequate sleep and reduced risk of delirium?

The complete Enquiry response is published in Swedish. Click on ”På svenska” in the top menu to read it.

SBU Enquiry Service Consists of structured literature searches to highlight studies that can address questions received by the SBU Enquiry Service from Swedish healthcare or social service providers. We assess the risk of bias in systematic reviews and when needed also quality and transferability of results in health economic studies. Relevant references are compiled by an SBU staff member, in consultation with an external expert when needed.

Published: 10/11/2017
Contact SBU:

Search term(s)

Sleep pattern Sedation