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Lessons learned from sleep education in schools : a review of dos and don'ts
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Sarah BlundenSarah Blunden, Gabrielle RigneyGabrielle Rigney
Study Objectives: Sleep duration and quality are associated with negative neuropsychological and psychosocial outcomes in children and adolescents. However, community awareness of this is low and sleep education programs in schools are attempting to address this issue. Several studies now exist assessing the efficacy of these sleep education programs for improving sleep knowledge, sleep hygiene and sleep patterns. This paper presents these sleep education programs, most particularly, it presents the strengths and weaknesses of the current available studies in the hope that this can identify areas where future sleep education programs can improve. Methods: A systematic search of all school-based sleep education studies in adolescents was undertaken. Studies were scrutinized for author, teacher and participant comment regarding strengths and limitations of each study, which were then extracted and summarized. Results: Two specific types of sleep education programs emerged from the review, those that sought to change sleep behavior and those that sought simply to disseminate information. Issues that dictated the strength or weakness of a particular study including who delivers the program, the theoretical basis, the tools utilized to measure sleep patterns, the content, and their capacity to engage students were assessed. Sleep education was considered important byteachers, students and parents alike. Conclusions: Future sleep education programs need to take into account lessons learned from previous sleep education efforts in order to maximize the potential for sleep education programs to improve the sleep health of our young people.