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How ICU Patients Can Block Out the Noise and Confusion

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANTWERP, Belgium) -- On top of all their other problems, hospital patients who spend time in the intensive care unit often have a difficult time getting to sleep because of delirium or confusion caused by their surroundings.

Mainly, patients stuck in the ICU complain that interruptions such as phones ringing and people talking are primarily responsible for them failing to get any shuteye.

However, researchers from the University of Antwerp and Antwerp University Hospital seem to have come across a solution that has already worked for millions of people and it doesn't involve medication: Earplugs.

The confusion or delirium experienced by ICU patients was reduced by 50 percent when they were given earplugs to help block out noise.  What's more, most of the earplug wearers reported a better night's sleep than patients who didn't use them.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio