Sleep in Critical Illness: Future Directions

Melissa P. Knauert, Sairam Parthasarathy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sleep deficiency, including circadian disruption, is pervasive in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). However, sleep is critically important to human health, and leveraging the tremendous potential of sleep promotion to improve critical care outcomes is a goal of ICU clinicians and investigators alike. The risks and mechanisms for ICU sleep and circadian disruption are numerous and include broad categories of patient, environmental, and acute illness factors. However, methodologic limitations, particularly the lack of feasible and rigorous sleep measures, have slowed research progress and limited evidence in support of sleep interventions. Many questions remain regarding the natural history of sleep disruption during the acute and recovery phases of critical illness. Furthermore, it is uncertain which aspects of sleep during critical illness are most tightly linked to patient outcomes. Thus, multicomponent bundles which attempt to address the diverse factors causing ICU sleep disruption are complex, challenging to implement, and possibly focused on domains of ICU sleep disruption that are less relevant to improving critical illness outcomes. With the advent of novel measurement technologies, investigators are poised to overcome the listed challenges, answer these key questions, and translate the promise of ICU sleep promotion into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSleep in Critical Illness
Subtitle of host publicationPhysiology, Assessment, and its Importance to ICU Care
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783031064470
ISBN (Print)9783031064463
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian alignment
  • Circadian amplitude
  • Delirium
  • Implementation
  • Sleep deficiency
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep quality
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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