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Children 2016, 3(3), 11; doi:10.3390/children3030011

Putting Children’s Sleep Problems to Bed: Using Behavior Change Theory to Increase the Success of Children’s Sleep Education Programs and Contribute to Healthy Development

Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide South Australia 5000, Australia
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Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
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Abstract

Sleep is critical for the healthy development of children, yet most children simply don’t get enough. Whilst school based sleep education programs have been developed for parents and their children, they have had mixed success. We consider how existing school-based sleep education programs can be improved by applying a broader model to behaviour change theory. We find that the mixed success of school-based sleep education programs may be due to a plausible but misleading assumption that simply increasing information about the importance of sleep and the risks of insufficient and/or inefficient sleep, will necessarily result in improved sleep behaviours. We identify the potential benefits of using a more inclusive behavior change theory in the development of sleep education programs with a particular need for theories that incorporate the multiple biological, environmental and social impacts on children’s sleep. Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological model is presented to illustrate how one such inclusive behavior change theory could significantly improve the success of sleep education programs and ultimately support the healthy development of children. View Full-Text
Keywords: prevention; children’s sleep; behaviour theory; sleep education prevention; children’s sleep; behaviour theory; sleep education
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Blunden, S.; Benveniste, T.; Thompson, K. Putting Children’s Sleep Problems to Bed: Using Behavior Change Theory to Increase the Success of Children’s Sleep Education Programs and Contribute to Healthy Development. Children 2016, 3, 11.

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