Sleep centers are medical facilities that help people with sleeping disorders. Patients who have problems sleeping in the comfort of their own homes may find it extremely difficult to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings. Added to that, they may also feel uncomfortable about the fact that they are being watched when they sleep. To ensure that patients can fully participate in sleep studies, without being disturbed because of the ergonomics, the activity and the noise made by the equipment used, it is important to get the sleep center's architecture right.
For this reason, it is best to consult an interior designer who is experienced in designing sleep centers. Experienced designers can ensure that your facility meets the physical requirements of a typical sleep center, and is optimized to make your patients feel comfortable.
Usually, sleep disorder patients do not feel as comfortable or secure sleeping in a clinical setting, as they do at their home or other familiar surroundings. Because of this, several patients face what is called the "First Night Effect", a common phenomenon that is noticed in sleep centers. Because of the uncomfortable surroundings, patients who are first time participants in the sleep studies experience severe anxiety and fear. This prevents them to sleep normally, without getting disturbed, making it difficult for specialists to score the sleep pattern.
This is where an experienced interior designer can make a difference. Experienced architects and designers can help in designing sleeping rooms that resemble a comfortable hotel room or a bedroom in a house. From the kind of paint or wallpaper used to cover the walls, to having amenities like private bathrooms and showers, and mattresses and bed linen used inside the rooms, the interior designers can make the right choices to make the place as comfortable as possible for the patients.
Interior designers can also help in concealing the equipment that has to be used during the sleep study, to bring down the clinical feel of the lab or the testing room. When you hire an interior designer, different rooms in the facility can be designed and decorated in different ways, to suit the diverse patient population you cater to. For instance, only an experienced designer would be able to design a children's sleep lab that is equipped with medical equipment, TV, DVD players, game consoles etc and is still safe for a child to move around freely.
Although it is not possible to replicate your patients' bedrooms in the sleep center, having the facility designed by an interior decorator can make it a comfortable place for your patients.
Sleep centers don't have to be fancy, but should be able to put people at ease
To make your patients feel comfortable at your facility, you don't necessarily have to decorate it lavishly with expensive linen or furnishings. All you need to do is ensure that the rooms are comfortable enough for the patient to sleep properly. Factors like the acoustics, the lighting, ventilation, room temperature etc should be considered when designing the sleep center and the rooms in it.
Sleep study is involved in recording and analyzing the bio-physiological changes that take place when the person is asleep. That is why, for the sleep specialist to successfully conduct the test, it is necessary that the patient can sleep without disturbance. For that, you need to get the acoustics of the room right. The best way to ensure proper acoustics is to use the right kind of material that can block external noise from coming into the room, which interior decorators can help with.
The lighting used in the testing and other rooms in the facility should the kind used in residences. Also, the controls of the lights should be fixed close to the bed, where the patient can easily access them. Interior designers have a good idea about the kind of lights used in different settings, and can ensure that only the right kind of lights are installed in the facility. Not only that, designers can also help in installing low level lighting that the staff can use during the testing phase, without disturbing the patients.
The placement of the windows and the type of window shades used, to let in or block daylight into the room, can make a huge difference in the atmosphere of the room. The windows should be functional, and the view should not reflect anything that makes patients feel they are in a commercial or a clinical setting.
Also, the indoor air quality (IAQ) should be as per standards, which can be achieved by allowing fresh air through operable windows. Selecting a location with lesser amounts of pollution can also help in maintaining the desired IAQ.
To ensure that the patients' thermal comfort requirements are met, interior designers can help you choose the right kind of flooring material, bed linen to keep the patient warm and a fan or AC that are ideal for a healthcare setup.