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Update on school-based sleep education programs: How far have we come and what has Australia contributed to the field?
journal contributionposted on 2021-05-05, 04:16 authored by Gabrielle RigneyGabrielle Rigney, Autumn Watson, Julie Gazmararian, Sarah BlundenSarah Blunden
Objective: School-based sleep education programs help to promote sleep health information to many children and adolescents. The aim of this systematic review was to identify and describe school-based sleep education programs, to update previous reviews and identify recent advances and improvements in this field worldwide. Methods: Four electronic databases were searched. Eligibility criteria included children aged 5–18 years, sleep education intervention conducted in a school setting, and at least one pre-post-measure of a sleep variable. Results: A total of 32 articles met eligibility criteria with Australian sleep researchers constituting ∼ one quarter of these studies. Studies dated from 2007 to 2020 with sample sizes ranging from 9 to 3713 students. The majority of participants were high school students and predominantly female. Education programs generally took 4–6 weeks and content was consistent across studies. Overall, exposure to sleep education increased sleep knowledge, however changes in sleep behaviour variables and secondary outcome variables (eg, mental health; cognitive function; sleep hygiene practices) presented varied results. Studies conducted since 2015 were more likely to be randomised controlled trials and to include more interactive, online designs utilising innovative content such as mindfulness. Conclusions: An exponential growth in school sleep education programs was identified since 2016. Future studies should consider utilising objective sleep measures, longer-term follow-ups, innovative delivery methods, and stronger attempts at implementing a knowledge-to-action approach for more sustainable programs.