D1 | Abstract 02

Annual NUTRIM Symposium 18 November 2020


Sleep Health Promotion Interventions and their Effectiveness: An Umbrella Review

Uthman Albakri,1,2 Elizabeth Drotos,1 Ree Meertens1

1 Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
2 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Saudi Arabia
The importance of sleep health is receiving increasing attention in public health. This umbrella review systematically summarizes the scope and effectiveness of sleep health promotion interventions in healthy populations. More specifically, it aims to determine what kinds of non-pharmacological sleep health interventions have been implemented, in what target groups and settings, and how effective they are in improving sleep quality and duration.

A comprehensive literature search yielded thirty-five reviews of non-pharmacological sleep health interventions in primarily healthy populations. Two reviewers independently screened for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed review quality. This umbrella review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019126291).

Target populations ranged across all age groups, from infant to elderly participants, though the majority were adults. Settings also varied, with interventions occurring in home, workplace, healthcare, school, and laboratory settings. Eleven intervention types were defined and their effectiveness examined. Later school start times demonstrated significant improvement in sleep duration in school-aged children. In infants, substantial evidence exists for behavior change methods in improving sleep quality across multiple reviews. Mind-body exercises, like Tai chi, also demonstrated substantial impacts on sleep duration and quality across multiple reviews. The other intervention types such as sleep education, relaxation techniques, etc. demonstrated some promising impacts on sleep, but with less consistent evidence. 

This umbrella review is the first to provide an overall overview of the strategies used in the rapidly evolving field of sleep health promotion, and gives insight into the populations targeted and settings. There is substantial evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of later school start times, behavior change methods, and mind-body exercise. Results were limited by high heterogeneity between studies, mixed results, and variable review quality. Further research should aim to standardize sleep-related outcome measures and intervention types while using rigorous study designs.

NUTRIM | School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism
NUTRIM aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalised medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions. This is facilitated by a state of the art research infrastructure and close interaction between scientists, clinicians, master and PhD students.