UBC professor launches online sleep improvement tool for parents

Nov 2 2016, 4:35 pm

Parents of little ones know all too well how hard it is to get them to fall asleep. But now there is a helpful resource to help solve that problem.

UBC nursing professor Wendy Hall is part of a team that created an online program called Better Nights, Better Days.

The online program includes information about elements of healthy sleep, common sleep problems, a sleep diary, and other resources to help children get a good night’s sleep.

The program takes about a month to complete and can be accessed from any web-enabled device.

“Research tells us that as many as three out of 10 children in industrialized countries—and 25 per cent of Canadian children—experience sleep issues,” Hall said in a release. “That’s highly concerning because studies show even a small amount of sleep loss is associated with behavioural difficulties or learning disabilities.”

Sleep deprivation does not only impact children, it also has a big affects parents’ quality of life. According to Hall, in families where kids are not getting enough sleep, parents are tired and mentally and physically stressed.

But when the issue is addressed early, parents can break the cycle of poor sleep and help their kids get into healthy habits from the get-go.

“With Better Nights, Better Days, families have easy access to sleep support that can complement clinical and other resources that they may choose to access,” said Hall.

The online tool is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is currently available on a pilot trial across Canada.