Better Nights, Better Days for Youth is an online sleep education program for adolescents and university students. The project is also extended to adolescents and university students with pain. To date, focus groups have been conducted with adolescents, university students and relevant stakeholders to gather ideas and opinion on how to best design the online program and what information/sleep strategies should be included.
Sleep problems are evident in young adulthood
Evidence suggest that over half of adolescents are not getting the required about of sleep each night. These problems persist into young adulthood, where only and estimated 11% of university students obtain a good quality sleep. Sleep problems and recurrent pain are often related and twice as many adolescents with recurrent pain report sleep difficulties than their typically developing peers.
Sleep problems impact functioning
A decline in sleep duration and quality in young adults is of great concern as there are several negative effects on daytime functioning. Sleep deficits puts young adults at risk for mental health disorders and emotional problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased moodiness. Inadequate sleep also affects a person’s physical health and cognitive abilities including memory, attention and executive functioning.
The need for better intervention
Given the number of negative consequences that can result from not getting enough sleep, it is critical to have effective interventions in place targeting sleep practices. With the ongoing advances in technology, and success of eHealth interventions an online sleep education program is being created within Corkum LABS. The intervention will be a combination of psychoeducation about sleep and behavioural reccomendations delivered via short and interactive microlearning sessions. Once the program is developed, it will be tested for usability and feasibility as a final step before pilot testing its effectiveness on sleep and pain outcomes. Usability and feasibility testing is expected to start early fall 2018.