Pilot study of a mindfulness-based, multi-component, in-school group sleep intervention in adolescent girls

Bei Bei, Michelle L Byrne, Clare Ivens, Joanna M Waloszek, Michael J Woods, Paul L Dudgeon, Greg Murray, Christian L Nicholas, John A Trinder, Nicholas Brian Allen

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76 Citations (Scopus)


Existing literature links poor sleep and anxiety symptoms in adolescents. This pilot study aimed to develop a practical method through which a program to improve sleep could reach adolescents in need and to examine the feasibility of a mindfulness-based, multi-component group sleep intervention using sleep and anxiety as outcome measures. Methods: Sixty-two grade 9 students (aged 13-15) at a girls school were screened with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Spence Children s Anxiety Scale (SCAS). Ten participants with self-reported poor sleep were enrolled into a six-session program based on Bootzin Stevens, with added stress/anxiety-specific components. Sessions covered key aspects of basic mindfulness concepts and practice, sleep hygiene, sleep scheduling, evening/daytime habits, stimulus control, skills for bedtime worries and healthy attitudes to sleep. Treatment changes were measured by pre-post scores on the PSQI, SCAS and 7-day actigraphy-measured sleep. Results: The program demonstrated high acceptability, with a completion rate of 90 . Based on effect-size analysis, participants showed significant improvement on objective sleep onset latency (SOL), sleep efficiency and total sleep time; actigraphy data also showed significantly earlier bedtime, rise time and smaller day-to-day bedtime variation. Post-intervention global PSQI scores were significantly lower than that of pre-intervention, with significant improvement in subjective SOL, sleep quality and sleep-related daytime dysfunction. There were small improvements on some subscales of the SCAS, but change on its total score was minimal. Conclusions: A mindfulness-based, multi-component, in-school group sleep intervention following brief screening is feasible, and has the potential to improve sleep. Its impact on anxiety needs further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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