3 ways Connecticut hospitals are helping patients sleep better

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It's tough for patients to get a good night's sleep during their hospital stay. Some hospitals in Connecticut, however, are creating new programs and updating their policies to help more patients receive a better night's rest, according to the Hartford Courant.

Here are three ways Connecticut hospitals are helping patients sleep better.

1. Reducing noise. Researchers at Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital are expanding a pilot program to reduce noise in the intensive care unit, keep staff out of patients' rooms overnight and moderate the staff's hallway conversations.

Hartford (Conn.) Hospital executives have installed images of the night sky on patients' ceilings and a mock traffic light nicknamed the "Yacker Tracker" to remind staff and visitors to keep their voices down. The hospital also provides patients with complimentary headphones to dim the noise of TV sets and mandates a mid-afternoon quiet hour on the maternity floor.

2. Dim the lights. Hartford Hospital set up an interdisciplinary committee to address patients' concerns, including bright lighting in the building. To address those concerns, officials instituted a policy that calls for lights around the hospital to be dimmed at 8 p.m. Since implementing the change in 2013, patient satisfaction ratings have doubled, according to the article.

Similarly, Stamford (Conn.) Health officials designed the new hospital building with patient sleep concerns in mind. The building features sound-resistant floors and windows are covered with blackout shades. The building will also relocate nurses' stations away from central areas in the hospital to reduce noise.

3. Better sleep toolkits. Patients at Stamford Hospital also receive "Tuck Me In" toolkits that include a lavender-scented washcloth, earplugs and the opportunity to receive an evening hand massage, according to the article. Stamford also mandated that lights be dimmed around 8 p.m. and visitors are encouraged to leave by 9 p.m.

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