Better Nights/Better Days-Distance Intervention for Insomnia in School-Aged Children With/Without ADHD: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Pediatr Psychol. 2016 Jul;41(6):701-13. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw031. Epub 2016 May 16.


Objective: Better Nights/Better Days, a distance intervention for insomnia in school-aged children (with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]), was evaluated to determine its effectiveness on children's sleep and psychosocial functioning.

Methods: A single center, parallel group design randomized controlled trial (stratified on ADHD diagnosis) was conducted. Parents were randomized to intervention (n = 31) or waitlist control (n = 30), and completed questionnaires administered over the phone at baseline, postintervention (2 months), and follow-up (6 months). Actigraphy was also collected. The intervention consisted of a five-session manual and weekly telephone coach support.

Results: The intervention group demonstrated a significant reduction in sleep problems and improved psychosocial functioning at postintervention and follow-up. Actigraphy results indicated improved sleep onset, but not sleep duration. Children with and without ADHD responded in a similar manner to this intervention. Parents provided high satisfaction ratings.

Conclusions: This intervention holds promise as an accessible, sustainable, and effective program to address insomnia in school-aged children.

Keywords: ADHD; children; intervention; paraprofessionals; service delivery; sleep; telephone; treatment barriers.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome