Effect of Daytime Activities (Physical and Social) on Nocturnal Sleep among Residents in Elderly Homes in Lattakia, Syria

  • Fatima Hallaj


Despite of the high prevalence of sleep disturbances in nursing homes, yet there is a lack of research concerning the use of non-pharmacological approaches for improving residents’ sleep. Objective: To assess the effect of daytime activities (physical and social) on nocturnal sleep among residents in elderly homes in Lattakia, Syria. Setting: The study was carried out in the three available homes for elderly people in Lattakia, Syria. Subjects: The study subjects comprised 40 elderly persons. They were divided randomly into two groups: study and control. Each group comprised 20 elders where elders in the control group were left to their routine while those in the study group were subjected to physical and social activities for two months. Tools: Three tools were used for data collection: the sociodemographic and clinical structure interview schedule, the environmental checklist and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Results: The implemented program had a positive effect on elders’ sleep status where about one fifth had no sleep problems and about a quarter showed improvement in their symptoms. Among the control group, the condition became worse for about a third. Conclusion: The program succeeded in improving sleep status of elders. This improvement was significantly affected by the duration of stay in the home, co-morbidities, drugs used and environmental factors. Recommendations: Encourage elders to perform daily exercise and to maintain social entertainment through sharing in social activities.