Changes in elders" sleep patterns such as a decrease in sleep time, an increase in sleep latency, and changes in the sleep cycle often lead to sleep that is lighter, shorter, and interrupted (Foreman & Wykle, 1995) . Studies in the past have suggested that the presence of a bedtime routine may enhance sleep, but only minimal research has been done. The purpose of this descriptive study was to further evaluate nightly bedtime routines and sleep-rest patterns of elders. Two research questions were generated: What are the bedtime routines of elders and what are the sleep-rest patterns of elders? Orem"s Self-Care Model served as the theoretical framework. The sample (N = 42) was recruited from an elder retirement community and a senior citizens center. The sample had a mean age of 77.8 years, was mostly female (88.1%), widowed (64.3%), and white (97.6%). A majority of the subjects (62%) reported having nightly bedtime routines. Also, elders who followed a nightly bedtime routine were more satisfied with their sleep. When questioned about their sleep-rest patterns. 1 1 1 the majority reported being calm (71.4%) and having a normal state of fatigue (64.3%) at bedtime. Bedtime routine included cleaning face, brushing teeth, praying, and watching television. An implication for nursing is to develop educational offerings for nurse practitioners which focus on the significance of sleep-rest patterns and nightly bedtime routines of elders. A recommendation for further study is replication with a more diverse sample, revised instruments, and a longitudinal design.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Mary Patricia Curtis

Second Advisor

Lynn Chilton

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons