Tucker RM, Contreras DA, Carlson BR, Carter A, and Drake CL. Sleep Education for Elders Program (SLEEP): Promising Pilot Results of a Virtual, Health Educator-Led, Community-Delivered Sleep Behavior Change Intervention. Nat Sci Sleep 2021; 13:625-633.
Nat Sci Sleep
Purpose: Sleep problems pose serious public health concerns, and evidence suggests that the problem is worsening. Both sufficient sleep quantity and quality are needed for optimal health, particularly among older adults, but access to sleep care can be difficult. This study examined the efficacy of a six-week sleep behavior change program designed for older adults that was delivered virtually by health educators.
Participants and Methods: This quasi-experimental pilot study (intervention n = 22; control n = 31) explored the effects of the Sleep Education for Elders Program (SLEEP) on sleep outcomes, which included: 1) sleep quality, measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); 2) sleep duration, extracted from the PSQI; 3) insomnia symptoms, measured by the Insomnia Severity Index; 4) sleep hygiene behaviors, obtained from the Sleep Hygiene Index; and 5) excessive daytime sleepiness, measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Results: After SLEEP, the intervention group experienced significantly improved sleep quality (p < 0.001), a reduction in maladaptive sleep hygiene behaviors (p = 0.007), and reduced daytime sleepiness (p < 0.027) compared to the control group. Effect sizes for all five sleep measures were medium or large. In the intervention group, all changes were judged to be clinically meaningful (≥ 0.5 SD) except for improvements in daytime sleepiness.
Conclusion: These data support the efficacy of a group-based, virtual behavior change intervention in improving sleep outcomes among older adults.