March 2, 2009
Some teens won’t forgo weekend sleeping in
A school-based sleep intervention is a promising model for addressing adolescent sleep problems, Australian researchers said.
Project supervisor Michael Gradisar of the Flinders University in South Australia said the program consisted of four, 50-minute classes across a four-week period that taught healthy sleep practices, such as the benefits of minimizing caffeine and alcohol intake, reducing stimulating activities at night, getting out of bed at a consistent time each morning -- even on weekends -- and getting exposure to bright light in the morning to help reset their body's biological clock.
The study involved 81 students ages 15-17 from two schools in South Australia, with some participating in the sleep intervention and some acting as a control group. At baseline 95 percent of the total sample reported at least one type of sleep problem such as excessive daytime sleepiness.
Fourteen percent of students indicated that behavioral suggestions to improve their sleep had been helpful and applied in some way during the program.
The study, published in the Journal Sleep, found 14 percent of students indicated that behavioral suggestions to improve their sleep had been helpful and applied in some way during the program. However, many of the students were not convinced about the benefits of regularizing their sleep pattern and they enjoyed sleeping-in over the weekend too much to change their behavior.