How Do We Know When Patients Sleep Properly or Why They Do Not?

In a commentary published in the journal Critical Care, Folke Sjober and Eva Svanborg point on the importance of Dr. Elliot’s article which we reviewed in the May 2013 newsletter entitled “Characterization of sleep in intensive care using 24-hour polysomnography: an observational study”. Specifically, the authors point out the importance of studying sleep in the ICU with regards to understanding oxidative stress, immune function and subjective health. They applaud the authors for using polysomnography in such a large sample of ICU patients. However, Solberg and Svanborg admit we are only at the “tip of the iceberg” with regards to our understanding of the importance of sleep in the ICU and how to best study it.