Rest and sleep are important for a patient to restore the energies of the body, keep him mentally relaxed, free from worry, and physically calm. Lack of proper sleep can cause fatigue, increase blood pressure, impair the ability to think clearly and make the patient susceptible to infections.
Most of the time, chronic pain and discomfort due to conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, amputation, surgery, cancer, or other disabilities, may affect the patient’s sleep patterns. Other factors that affect sleep can include unfamiliar beds, roommates, wrinkled linens, or bright lights in the room.
In such cases, it is the CNA’s responsibility to promote the patient’s sleep by increasing patient comfort and managing their pain.
The CNA should take the following actions to manage the patient’s pain. Relief from pain will immediately increase patient comfort.
- The first step is to recognize the symptoms of pain and discomfort in the patient. This includes observing the verbal and nonverbal expressions of pain such as moaning, wincing, restlessness, or rubbing body parts.
- Report any signs of pain immediately to the supervisor so prompt actions can be taken for pain relief.
- Ensure that the patient is taking any prescribed pain relief medications as indicated.
- Apply heat and cold to affected body parts and as prescribed as they are effective strategies for pain relief.
- Provide back rubs for stress relief. Repositioning the patient is another strategy to increase patient comfort.
The CNA should perform the following actions to promote rest and sleep in the patient:
- Be aware of the patient’s bedtime and waking time. Try and maintain this routine every day.
- Ensure that the patient’s bladders/bowels are empty, to reduce discomfort related to these areas.
- Engage the patient in exercise or physical activity during the day and reduce napping times.
- Educate the patient on the importance of sleep and techniques to promote sleep.
- Ensure there are no distractions at night, such as bright lights, loud noises, etc, so that the patient sleeps peacefully.
Ensure that the sleeping environment is restful and neither too hot nor cold.