CANA Global CONNECT Vol. 1, Issue 2 – Chief Editor’s Note


Sleep: An Essential Nursing Focus  

Mei R. Fu, PhD, RN, FAAN

Chief Editor

“Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body for health,” stated Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology of University of California, Berkeley during his interview with TIME Magazine of February 27-March 6, 2017. As we all know, sleep is nonnegotiable that every human being has to sleep in order to survive. Numerous research has found that sleep deprivation is strongly linked to disease and premature death. While sleep presents itself being a very passive state in which the body appears to rest, science has revealed that sleep is actually very active state in which the body is recuperating on cellular and molecular level to ensure that we have physical and mental health.  

In this issue’s Research Highlights, we proudly present Dr. Lichuan Ye’s Program of Research on Sleep from William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College. As Dr. Ye stated, “In hospitals, on college campuses, and across our fast-paced society, sleep’s vital role in health is generally minimized and misunderstood.” Her outstanding research on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) provides excellent examples of how to conduct precision phenotyping of patients with OSA and how to develop targeted intervention to promote sleep health based on phenotypic characteristics using innovative technology approach. More importantly, her research also benefits college students who are at the highest risk of sleep deprivation. Dr. Ye’s stellar research is an outstanding example that nurses and nurse scientists can make significant contribution to the health of all human beings.

I started to follow sleep research more than a decade ago when many patients treated for breast cancer reported disturbed sleep during night due to pain or symptoms related to lymphedema, an abnormal fluid accumulation from cancer treatment. Later on, many research has discovered that sleep deprivation is significantly associated with obesity. Meanwhile, my research team and my other collaborative researchers also found that obesity is one of the major risk factors for lymphedema. Such research findings led my research team to include “good sleep” as part of our intervention to fight against obesity, to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of lymphedema for breast cancer survivors. I would like to share our evidence-based sleep advice from our research to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene to improve sleep not only for patients but also for us–nurses, nurse researchers and nurse scientists.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

  • Don’t consume caffeine in the evening.  
  • Don’t eat or exercise too close to bedtime.
  • Turn off email, phone and computer.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, for example, muscle-tightening deep breathing and mediation.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room. 


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