Pilot Study of a Sleep Health Promotion Program for College Students

Sleep Health. 2016 Jun;2(2):167-174. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2016.03.006.

Abstract

Objectives: We conducted a pilot study of a sleep health promotion program for college students. The aims of the study were to 1) determine the feasibility of the program, and 2) explore changes in sleep knowledge and sleep diary parameters.

Design: Open trial of a sleep health promotion program for college students.

Setting: A small liberal arts university in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Participants: University students (primarily female).

Intervention: Active intervention components included individualized email feedback based on each participant's baseline sleep diary and an in-person, group format presentation on sleep health.

Measurements: Participants completed online questionnaires and sleep diaries before and after the health promotion intervention. Online questionnaires focused on sleep knowledge and attitudes toward sleep, as well as Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) sleep and psychosocial assessments.

Results: Of participants who completed some aspect of the study, 89% completed at least one intervention component (in-person lecture and/or sleep diary). Participants reported significant improvement in sleep knowledge and changes in sleep diary parameters (decreased sleep onset latency and time spent in bed, resulting in greater sleep efficiency). Sleep duration also increased by 30 minutes among short sleepers who obtained <7 hours sleep at baseline.

Conclusions: Preliminary evaluation of a brief program to promote sleep health suggests that it is feasible and acceptable to implement, and that it can favorably alter sleep knowledge and behaviors reported on the sleep diary in college students. Controlled trials are warranted.

Keywords: health education; health promotion; mental health; normative sleep.