The Motivating Teens to Sleep More Program Improves Sleep Hygiene Behaviours in High School Students
CPS ePoster Library. Cassoff J. Jun 25, 2015; 99082; 19
Jamie Cassoff
Jamie Cassoff
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Adolescent sleepiness due to insufficient sleep is common and associated with negative health consequences. Negative sleep hygiene practices, such as caffeine consumption have been shown to impede adequate sleep duration. Sleep promotion programs are successful in improving sleep knowledge but not at promoting positive sleep hygiene practices as they only focus on providing sleep information. The novel Motivating Teens to Sleep More (MTSM) program combines motivational interviewing style, stage-based techniques, and personalized activities.

The current study aimed to evaluate the MTSM program by comparing its effectiveness with a sleep education only control condition. Expected results included reduced negative sleep hygiene behaviours, increased bodily awareness of sleepiness on a typical night and during the day following a night of too little sleep.

Twenty-two high school students were randomly assigned to the MTSM program or the control condition, which each consisted of four 1-hour, one-on-one, sessions. As part of the MTSM program, participants were guided through a body scan in order to focus on bodily signals of sleepiness and were invited to create an action plan to improve a sleep hygiene behaviour. Negative sleep hygiene practices (e.g., use of technological devices at bedtime), internal signals of sleepiness on a typical night and after nights of too little sleep (e.g., eyes feeling heavy) were assessed via online questionnaires before and after the program.

Negative sleep hygiene practices significantly decreased in the experimental but not control group following the program (F(1, 18) = 4.52, p = .048) when controlling for age and gender. The experimental group showed an increase in internal cues of sleepiness after a night of too little sleep while the control group did not show an increase, but this interaction effect did not reach conventional levels of statistical significance (F(1, 20) = 3.96, p = .06). Both groups sleep significantly increased in self-reported internal cues of sleepiness at night (F(1, 20) = 7.73, p = .011).

The data suggest that the MTSM program and sleep education sessions were effective in increasing awareness of bodily sleepiness at night, but only the students receiving the MTSM program adopted healthier sleep hygiene behaviours. The motivational strategies of the MTSM program seem instrumental in driving sleep hygiene improvements. The increased awareness of internal cues of sleepiness after too little sleep (albeit not reaching conventional levels of statistical significance) may indicate that the body scan activity is a potentially useful way to enhance bodily awareness of sleepiness when sleep deprived but that more intensive mindfulness strategies are needed in future sleep promotion programs.
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