Better Nights, Better Days intervention study aims to help kids sleep better
A surprising 25 per cent of children suffer from insomnia – a group of sleep problems involving having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking too early. It takes only a small amount of sleep loss for a child to experience challenges in their day-time functioning, including challenges with academic, emotional, social and physical processes.
Researchers across Canada have created a unique program to address this emerging public health issue. The program is called “Better Nights, Better Days”; it is an evidence-based online intervention program for parents who have children that experience sleep issues. The study is being led by Dr. Penny Corkum, a psychologist and professor at Dalhousie University. The team is comprised of paediatric sleep researchers across Canada, including two from SickKids, neurologist Dr. Shelly Weiss, and nurse researcher Dr. Robyn Stremler.
Better Nights, Better Days aims to help parents understand their child’s sleep problems, while providing self-administered and evidence-based behavioural strategies using videos, activities, sleep diaries and homework to help their child sleep better. The intervention program is in the research phase and is open to Canadian parents of children between the ages of 1 and 10 years who experience insomnia and will take parents five to 10 weeks to complete. It aims to help families improve their child’s sleep, leading to an enhanced quality of life for their children around the clock – better behaviour, better mood, and better school performance.
Better Nights, Better Days is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research: Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Team Grant. www.betternightsbetterdays.ca