Behavioral interventions to promote adequate sleep among women: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Syst Rev. 2017 May 11;6(1):95. doi: 10.1186/s13643-017-0490-y.


Background: Short and poor sleep have been associated with adverse health outcomes in adults, such as overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes, especially among women. Women therefore represent an important target for interventions aimed at improving sleep and such interventions have been advocated to enhance maternal, fetal, and infant health. This systematic review will assess the efficacy or effectiveness of behavioral interventions aimed at promoting adequate sleep among women. The primary outcomes will be changes in sleep duration and/or sleep quality from baseline to post-intervention and to the last available follow-up measured either through self-reports or objectively. Secondary outcomes will be assessing the behavior change techniques that are responsible for the changes in sleep duration and quality among women.

Methods: Behavioral interventions that are non-pharmacological and target either sleep directly or sleep hygiene behaviors will be included. Randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental, and one-group pre-post studies will be included, but treated separately in the analyses, given that a limited number of studies on the topic of sleep is expected. MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses will be investigated. There will be no restriction on the year of publication of the articles, but we will include only the ones written in English or French. Two authors will independently assess articles for eligibility and will extract data using a standardized data extraction form that will have been previously pilot-tested. The quality of the studies will be assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative study designs. The intervention procedures will be classified according to the latest validated taxonomy of behavior change techniques. If there is a sufficient number of studies (k > 5), a meta-analysis of the results will be performed with a random-effect model. If the heterogeneity is high (I 2 ≥ 75%), it will be investigated through sensitivity analyses and meta-regression.

Discussion: This review will provide valuable information to those interested in promoting adequate sleep among women and, hopefully, encourage additional research in this important field to promote maternal, fetal, and infant health.

Systematic review registration: The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO in October 2016 (CRD42016049538).

Keywords: Behavior; Intervention; Protocol; Sleep; Systematic review; Women.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Child Health Services*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design*
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic

Grant support