Nurses’ Awareness of Preterm Neonates’ Sleep in the NICU

  •  Nasrin Mahmoodi    
  •  Azizollah Arbabisarjou    
  •  Mahmood Rezaeipoor    
  •  Zahra Pishkar Mofrad    


INTRODUCTION: Fetus and neonate spend most of their time sleeping inside and outside the womb. Sleep is considered a crucial action of neonatal period similar to breathing and nutrition. It plays a key role in brain development. Today, it is shown that sleep plays a predominant role in body temperature regulation, energy saving and neuronal detoxification. Sleep is the most important behavioral state of neonates, particularly in preterm ones. Noise, light, invasive treatment and caring activities are among disturbing factors in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that leave negative impacts on brain development through disturbing the sleep process.

MATERIALS & METHODS: This descriptive study assessed all NICU nurses of Ali-ibn-Abitaleb hospital using the census sampling method. Demographic data was collected through a questionnaire with 10 questions about active sleep (AS) cycles, also referred to as REM, methods for inducing AS and AS specifications in neonates. The questionnaire was distributed between the nurses. After completion, data was analyzed using SPSS 16 and descriptive statistics method.

FINDINGS: According to analyses, 24%, 20%, 48% and 92% of nurses gave correct answers to questions about AS cycle, AS in neonates, the role of sleep in saving energy and ideal noise level, respectively.

CONCLUSION: According to results, nurses had a low level of knowledge towards neonatal sleep. All nurses need to know the importance of sleep in preterm neonates. The main role of inducing sleep is to protect the development of the neonates’ brain in the NICU. Those nurses who spend a remarkable portion of their time for caring neonates in the NICU play a significant role in neonatal sleep care.

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