Promote sleep health and the rest will follow: a trauma-informed, sleep health intervention for adolescents in residential care
Woodall, Kylie Andre
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More than half of America’s adolescents do not obtain enough nightly rest to meet their sleep needs. Poor sleep health during this critical developmental period is linked to a myriad of negative health consequences, impairing performance and satisfaction in other meaningful occupations. Adolescents with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are at an increased risk of poor sleep health and associated negative outcomes. As a modifiable determinant of health, addressing poor sleep health would not only promote good quality, restorative sleep but also foster optimal occupational performance, supporting individual and societal well-being. Building on the work of previously tested cognitive-behavioral adolescent sleep health interventions, a multi-week, sleep health intervention was piloted at the Children’s Community Support Collaborative in Boston, MA. This intervention was adapted to be more trauma-informed, occupation-based, and centered around the interests of residents, aligning with the Collaborative’s philosophy of care and programming. Participant and staff feedback suggests a high degree of this intervention’s acceptability and favorability. Of the seven participants who completed the intervention, 86% reported an increased ability to sleep well, achieved >70% of their primary sleep-related goals, and demonstrated improved scores in at least one self-reported measure of subjective sleep quality. Collectively, satisfaction with sleep increased from a 6.8 group average pre-intervention to an 8.0 post-intervention on a 10-point Likert scale, with a 10 representing greatest satisfaction. These findings provide support for the efficacy of a trauma-informed, cognitive- behavioral, and occupation-based approach in improving the subjective sleep quality, occupational performance, and functional well-being of this population.