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Nursing Aspects of Sleep Medicine

Gary Stanton

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Nurses often spend time with patients who are awake and asleep.   The nurse therefore is in a privileged position to talk with patients about their sleep, and to observe important clinical behaviors in the sleeping patient.  This article briefly reviews sleep physiology and pathophysiology, and discusses certain common sleep disorders that a nurse might identify.  Such disorders include insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, parasomnia behaviors, and sundowning.  Nursing aspects of these conditions are reviewed.

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