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The purpose of this study was to observe patients' quality of sleep on a cardiothoracic step-down unit before and after institution of an "undisturbed quiet time" policy from eleven o'clock in the evening until five in the morning. It was hypothesized that these patients have improved sleep quality after institution of the Quiet Time protocol. The comparative group, quasi-experimental study utilized the Verran and Snyder-Halpern Sleep Scale and Factors Influencing Sleep Questionnaire to measure sleep disturbance, effectiveness, and supplementation. Results demonstrated a decrease in sleep disturbance with initiation of the Quiet Time, but no significant change in sleep effectiveness and supplementation. Factors most disturbing to sleep included pain and discomfort, bed and ventilation system, procedures performed upon the patient, interruptions, and talking.

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