Insufficient sleep among students is a major school health problem. School-based sleep education programs tailored to reach large number of students may be one of the solutions. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to summarize the programs' effectiveness and current status.
Electronic databases were searched up until May 2015. Randomized controlled trials of school-based sleep intervention among 10- to 19-year-old students with outcome on total sleep duration were included. Methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the Cochrane's risk of bias assessment.
Seven studies were included, involving 1876 students receiving sleep education programs and 2483 attending classes-as-usual. Four weekly 50-minute sleep education classes were most commonly provided. Methodological quality was only moderate, with a high or an uncertain risk of bias in several domains. Compared to classes-as-usual, sleep education programs produced significantly longer weekday and weekend total sleep time and better mood among students at immediate post-treatment, but the improvements were not maintained at follow-up.
Limited by the small number of studies and methodological limitations, the preliminary data showed that school-based sleep education programs produced short-term benefits. Future studies should explore integrating sleep education with delayed school start time or other more effective approaches.
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