Feasibility of a Single-Subject Protocol to Shift Young Children’s Sleep Schedules

  • Rachel S. FisherEmail author
  • Kendra N. Krietsch
  • David. M. Janicke


The objective of this study is to describe children’s adherence to changing sleep schedules within a small-scale, single-subject, at-home sleep manipulation experiment. Subjects were six healthy children (male = 4, ages 6–8). Children underwent: baseline, a 7-day self-selected sleep pattern; Condition A1, a 3- to 12-day stabilized sleep pattern (assigned time into/out of bed set at baseline averages); Condition B, a 3- to 12-day phase-delayed sleep pattern (time into/out of bed 2 h later than Condition A); and Condition A2, a 3- to 7-day return-to-stabilized sleep pattern (time into/out of bed at Baseline averages, identical to Condition A1). All children completed conditions. Per parent report, adherence to assigned time into/out of bed was good; sleep onset/offset adherence was variable. Within this small-scale, short-term sleep manipulation, children effectively got into/out of bed at assigned times despite manipulating sleep schedules by 2 h. However, they struggle to shift their sleep onset and offset times to match the time they were in bed.


Pediatric Circadian Bedtime Methods Experimental 



University of Florida’s Shands/UF Health Auxiliary Scholarship, awarded to second author Kendra Krietsch, Ph.D.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Rachel S. Fisher, Kendra N. Krietsch, and David. M. Janicke declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of Human Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Biobehavioral HealthThe Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Behavioral Medicine and Clinical PsychologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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