New research highlights importance of Sleep Hygiene

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New research from Bangor University develops Sleep Hygiene tool to inform practice

The term ‘Sleep Hygiene’ is used to describe the habits and behaviours which could help tackle sleep problems – for example, bedtime routine, bedroom environment, activity before bed and diet

Funded by the Research Capacity Building Corporation (RCBC), researchers at the University of Bangor have recently conducted a series of studies into how Sleep Hygiene advice is delivered to families of children with developmental disabilities. The new and original research aims to increase knowledge around Sleep Hygiene, looking at exactly how it can improve sleep and investigating the most helpful ways of advising families about this.

The studies gathered the views of parents of children with developmental disabilities and also of sleep professionals, investigating their thoughts on Sleep Hygiene and how it can best be used to help parents manage their children’s sleep problems. The aim is that these findings can be further developed into a helpful tool to inform the way families and professionals work together to improve children’s sleep, ‘ultimately leading to a better quality of life for the families.’

The research raises awareness of how, when Sleep Hygiene advice is given for sleep problems in children with developmental disabilities, sleep issues should be understood ‘as a health need worthy of professional input’ and that advice given should also be individual to each child’s needs.

The research hopes to increase awareness around Sleep Hygiene and how guidance is given to parents, as well as informing future sleep research.

Sleep Hygiene Education and Children with Developmental Disabilities is the doctoral thesis of Julie Sutton, Dr J.C. Huws and Professor C.R. Burton. Julie is a PhD Student and RCBC Fellow at Bangor University School of Healthcare Sciences and was part of the original development group for Tired Out. Julie has given her permission for the summary of this research to be published on the Tired Out Hub. It can be read here.

You can visit our research page for further papers and articles about sleep problems among children with additional needs.