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School-based intervention is a promising model for improving adolescent sleep habits
Date:2/28/2009

ad to later bedtimes and result in inadequate sleep on school nights, which in turn affects weekend sleep habits. Sleeping-in on weekends contributes to a delay in the circadian sleep rhythm, which can exacerbate a late sleep onset on school nights followed by forced early morning awakenings during the school week.

The study involved 81 students between the ages of 15 and 17 from two schools in South Australia. Each school provided one class to participate in the sleep intervention program and a second class to act as a control. The sleep-related content of the program was embedded within a wider context of well-being, which included information about healthy eating and exercise. The program taught the teenagers healthy sleep practices such as the benefits of minimizing caffeine and alcohol intake, reducing stimulating activities at night, getting out of bed at a consistent time each morning (even on weekends), and getting exposure to bright light in the morning to help reset their body's biological clock.

At baseline 95 percent of the total sample reported at least one type of sleep problem. Specifically, 60 percent reported a sleep onset latency of more than 30 minutes, and 35 percent reported excessive daytime sleepiness.

More than half the sample (53 percent) reported insufficient sleep of less than eight hours on school nights, and 78 percent of students reported a discrepancy of more than two hours in the time when they get out of bed on school-week mornings compared with weekend mornings. These two criteria identified 36 adolescents with delayed sleep timing.

The authors report that researchers in other fields have noted that acquisition of knowledge alone rarely results in a change in behavior. However, interactive, multisession prevention programs that encourage student participation have been shown to be effective in changing a specific behavior. Thus creating an intervention program that focuses on the simple be
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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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