Evaluation of a sleep education program for low-income preschool children and their families

Katherine E. Wilson, Alison L. Miller, Karen Bonuck, Julie C. Lumeng, Ronald D. Chervin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To evaluate a novel sleep education program for low-income preschool children and their families. Design: Randomized trial of an educational intervention. Setting: Community-based. Participants: Head Start preschool families (n = 152) in greater Lansing and Detroit, Michigan. Interventions: Classrooms or Head Start sites were randomized to an intervention group (prompt intervention) versus a control group (delayed intervention). Parents attended a one-time, 45-min sleep education program and preschoolers received 2 w (320 total min) of classroom sleep curriculum. Measurements: Parent knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and beliefs were assessed as the primary outcomes just before the 45-min sleep intervention, immediately postintervention, and approximately 1 mo postintervention. Parents reported their child's bedtimes and wake times on 7-day sleep diaries at baseline and at 1-mo follow-up. Average weeknight sleep durations and bedtimes served as secondary outcomes. Results: Linear mixed models showed a time x treatment effect for parents' knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy (each P < 0.05) but not beliefs. These improvements were found immediately postintervention but were not retained at 1-mo follow-up. Children in the intervention group improved their weeknight sleep duration at 1-mo follow-up by 30 min (11.0 ± 0.9 h vs. 10.5 ± 1.0 hours at baseline) compared to controls (10.4 ± 0.9 h versus 10.5 ± 0.9 h at baseline) (P = 0.04 for difference between groups). Children did not show statistically significant improvements in bedtime. Conclusions: Educational interventions in early childhood can have an effect on parents' sleep knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy, and on children's sleep behavior. However, repeated exposure to the new information may be important for parents as well as their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1125
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Bedtimes
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Health behavior
  • Intervention
  • Preschool children
  • Sleep
  • Sleep duration
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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