Targeting the knowledge-behavior gap in sleep : the impact of augmenting sleep education with implementation intentions on sleep behaviors.

May 2023
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Sleep education programs are increasingly used in colleges to improve sleep behaviors in students. These programs are successful at improving sleep knowledge, but rarely change sleep behaviors. One method of bridging this knowledge-behavior gap in sleep is to augment sleep education with implementation intention formation (Education+II). We tested this intervention in a challenging environment: organic chemistry classes. 101 undergraduate students completed baseline questionnaires and actigraphy monitoring before undergoing a standardized sleep education program. Students were then randomly assigned to an Education Only condition or an Education+II condition. Education+II individuals formed specific plans to go to bed earlier for the next five school nights and received nightly reminders to implement their plans. There were significant time-dependent improvements in sleep duration, and participants in the Education+II condition demonstrated earlier bedtimes than the Education Only condition, suggesting that sleep education augmented with implementation intentions is effective at facilitating improvements in sleep behaviors.