Sleep quality effects of a brief intervention in college students
Clark, Elizabeth A.
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Sleep difficulties are common among university students and have been found to correlate with compromises in academic, emotional, and health functioning. Psychoeducational presentations are among the most time- and cost-effective methods for improving sleep habits. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a thirty-minute psychoeducational sleep presentation through comparison of self-report assessments of sleep quality, physical health, and mental health at baseline and 9-weeks post intervention. Sleep quality scores for poor sleepers significantly improved between the two time points (F(1,238) = 38.471, p < .001). Students in the sleep intervention group reported an improvement trend in their overall sleep quality greater than those in the active control group (F(1,238) = 2.89, p = .091). Intervention interactions between baseline and post intervention of both gender and ethnic group evidenced differential efficacy for sleep quality improvement in some subgroups. While males in both the sleep and the active control groups showed significant improvement in sleep quality, only females in the sleep intervention also achieved this improvement. Females in the active control condition did not improve from baseline to follow up. Whites and multiracial/other ethnicity students in the sleep group significantly improved their sleep quality over time and only whites improved their sleep quality in the active control group. Blacks and Latinos did not significantly improve in either intervention group. Examination of the impact that change in sleep quality between baseline and post intervention had on health-related quality of life yielded results showing that good sleepers (t(89) = 2.75, p = .007) and poor sleepers (t(58) = 3.25, p = .002) with the largest decrease in sleep quality exhibited significantly lower mental health scores over time. There were no significant changes in either group for physical or mental health quality scores in those who improved sleep quality the most. A brief psychoeducational sleep intervention for college freshmen is a viable to implement in a classroom setting and is shown to improve sleep and to evidence meaningful benefit to physical and mental health.
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