Sleep is vital to recovery from illness, yet it is frequently interrupted in the hospital setting. Existing literature relying on survey data identifies vitals, medications, and pulse oximetry as major disruptors to sleep. This study was designed to assess the degree to which these candidate sleep disruptors are associated with objective room entries.


Room entry sensors were placed on doors to 18 rooms on acute medical–surgical units at a tertiary academic center. The number of entries into rooms between 10 Pm and 6 Am were logged on patients admitted to hospital medicine services from March 2021 through February 2022. Medical records were reviewed to extract orders for vital sign frequency, medication timing, continuous pulse oximetry, and intravenous fluid use overnight. Negative binomial regression was used to evaluate associations.


Room entry data were collected for 112 admissions and 192 patient-nights. There was an average of 7.8 room entries per patient-night. After adjustments for the other variables and for patients represented in multiple nights, vitals ordered every 4 hours were associated with a 1.3-fold increase in room entries (95% confidence interval 1.0–1.5; P = .013), as were medications scheduled during overnight hours (1.3; 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.5; P = .016). There was no association between room entries and continuous pulse oximetry use. After adjustment, there was also no association with administration of intravenous fluids.


Vitals ordered every 4 hours and medications scheduled during sleep hours are independently associated with increased room entries and may be reasonable initial targets for quality improvement interventions designed to minimize nighttime disruptions.

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