To evaluate the impact of a school-based sleep education programme on adolescent sleep and sleep knowledge.
This is the first outcome report on ‘Teensleep’: a novel, teacher-led programme, comprising ten lessons that can be delivered flexibly. Students in Year 10 (n = 1504; mean age = 14.14 ± 0.35 years) from ten UK state (non-fee-paying) secondary schools received the lessons and parents received a leaflet. Effectiveness was assessed using measures across two time points (pre- and post-intervention). Students completed questionnaires on sleep knowledge, sleep quality, sleep behaviour, sleep hygiene, daytime sleepiness and health-related quality of life. A sub-sample provided objective (actigraphy, n = 84) and subjective (sleep diary, n = 74) sleep measures.
Large improvements in sleep knowledge (d = 0.78), and smaller improvements in sleep quality (d = 0.15) and sleep hygiene (d = 0.11) were observed, but not in daytime sleepiness or health-related quality of life. Small and limited changes in subjective and objective sleep patterns were found. Baseline sleep quality was differentially associated with key outcomes, with those initially self-reporting poor sleep demonstrating an improvement in sleep quality, sleep hygiene and sleepiness.
Teensleep was effective at improving sleep knowledge but sleep changes were small. Such interventions have traditionallly focused on gains for all students, but this study suggests that poor sleepers may be the most likely to experience immediate direct sleep benefits. Follow-up studies are required to investigate whether or not sleep education provides long-term benefits as a step towards preventative sleep medicine.