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Volume 10 No. 07
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Sleep Education Improves the Sleep Duration of Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Geoff Kira, Ph.D.1; Ralph Maddison, Ph.D.2; Michelle Hull, M.P.H.3; Sarah Blunden, Ph.D.4; Timothy Olds, Ph.D.5
1School of Sport and Exercise, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand; 2National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; 3Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand; 4Appleton Institute, CQ-University, South Australia; 5Health and Use of Time (HUT) Group, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia


To determine the feasibility and pilot a sleep education program in New Zealand high school students.


A parallel, two-arm randomized controlled pilot trial was conducted. High school students (13 to 16 years) were randomly allocated to either a classroom-based sleep education program intervention (n = 15) or to a usual curriculum control group (n = 14). The sleep education program involved four 50-minute classroom-based education sessions with interactive groups. Students completed a 7-day sleep diary, a sleep questionnaire (including sleep hygiene, knowledge and problems) at baseline, post-intervention (4 weeks) and 10 weeks follow-up.


An overall treatment effect was observed for weekend sleep duration (F1,24 = 5.21, p = 0.03). Participants in the intervention group slept longer during weekend nights at 5 weeks (1:37 h:min, p = 0.01) and 10 weeks: (1:32 h:min, p = 0.03) compared to those in the control group. No differences were found between groups for sleep duration on weekday nights. No significant differences were observed between groups for any of the secondary outcomes (sleep hygiene, sleep problems, or sleep knowledge).


A sleep education program appears to increase weekend sleep duration in the short term. Although this program was feasible, most schools are under time and resource pressure, thus alternative methods of delivery should be assessed for feasibility and efficacy. Larger trials of longer duration are needed to confirm these findings and determine the sustained effect of sleep education on sleep behavior and its impact on health and psychosocial outcomes.


A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 793.


Kira G, Maddison R, Hull M, Blunden S, Olds T. Sleep education improves the sleep duration of adolescents: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(7):787-792.

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