To evaluate a novel sleep education program for low-income preschool children and their families.
Randomized trial of an educational intervention.
Head Start preschool families (n = 152) in greater Lansing and Detroit, Michigan.
Classrooms or Head Start sites were randomized to an intervention group (prompt intervention) versus a control group (delayed intervention). Parents attended a one-time, 45-min sleep education program and preschoolers received 2 w (320 total min) of classroom sleep curriculum.
Parent knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and beliefs were assessed as the primary outcomes just before the 45-min sleep intervention, immediately postintervention, and approximately 1 mo postintervention. Parents reported their child's bedtimes and wake times on 7-day sleep diaries at baseline and at 1-mo follow-up. Average weeknight sleep durations and bedtimes served as secondary outcomes.
Linear mixed models showed a time × treatment effect for parents' knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy (each P < 0.05) but not beliefs. These improvements were found immediately postintervention but were not retained at 1-mo follow-up. Children in the intervention group improved their weeknight sleep duration at 1-mo follow-up by 30 min (11.0 ± 0.9 h vs. 10.5 ± 1.0 hours at baseline) compared to controls (10.4 ± 0.9 h versus 10.5 ± 0.9 h at baseline) (P = 0.04 for difference between groups). Children did not show statistically significant improvements in bedtime.
Educational interventions in early childhood can have an effect on parents' sleep knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy, and on children's sleep behavior. However, repeated exposure to the new information may be important for parents as well as their children.
Wilson KE, Miller AL, Bonuck K, Lumeng JC, Chervin RD. Evaluation of a sleep education program for low-income preschool children and their families. SLEEP 2014;37(6):1117-1125.