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Invited Commentary
September 9, 2013

No Rest for the Weary…or the Sick

Author Affiliations
  • 1Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, and Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(16):1555-1556. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7809

Sleep disruption and deprivation are commonly experienced by hospitalized patients. About half report significant insomnia, excessive daytime somnolence, or both, and health care professionals are often unaware of a patient’s sleep problems.1 Sleep deprivation is associated with elevated levels of cortisol and other stress response hormones, as well as impaired wound healing, weakened cellular immunity, worsened cognitive functioning, decreased ventilatory drive, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, and increased mortality.2-4 Cognitive dysfunction with sleep deprivation includes delirium, impaired attention, longer reaction time, poor short-term and working memory, increased errors, reduced learning, cognitive slowing and deterioration, and decreased motivation to task.3,4

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