Does a universal sleep education programme improve the sleep habits of primary school children?
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- Ashton, R. Sleep Biol. Rhythms (2017) 15: 143. doi:10.1007/s41105-017-0092-z
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While a number of studies have evaluated sleep education programmes for adolescents and for parents of very young children, there is much less research available on similar programmes for children of primary school age. The current study used both subjective (sleep diary) and objective (actigraphy) data to compare an intervention and a control group of children aged 9–10 years. The intervention was adapted for a UK audience from the Australian Centre for Education in Sleep (ACES) programme. Data were collected pre- and post-intervention and at follow-up 8–12 weeks later. The results show a sustained increase in sleep knowledge for the intervention group compared to the control group. There was a mean increase in sleep duration for the intervention group of 11 min per night, which was not statistically significant and was not sustained at follow-up. Sleep efficiency increased in both groups. Programme acceptability was good. It is concluded that universal sleep education programmes may require long-term follow-up to capture any clinically significant benefits and, as with adolescents, a targeted approach may be a better use of resources.