Sleep problems are commonly found in people with learning disabilities who live in residential settings, but the authors of this study were concerned that insufficient attention was being is paid to them in the literature and consequently in practice.
They set out to improve the knowledge and understanding of sleep quality and sleep problems among care staff at a residential facility and as a result reduce sleep problems.
They worked with a crossover design with two groups and measured sleep efficiency and sleep latency in people not suspected of having sleep problems four times.
One group of staff (group A) was offered a lecture after the first measurement and a workshop after the second. The second group (group B) only had the lecture which was offered between the second and third measurements.
The researchers found that in both groups, sleep efficiency rose significantly with the time spent in bed by residents supported by the staff in group A being reduced significantly. They also found a significant reduction in daily napping among group A’s residents.
For those people supported by staff in group B, daily napping increased significantly, both in terms of the time spent napping and time and in the number of naps.
The authors conclude that educational techniques, such as lectures and workshops can improve residents’ sleep efficiency.
Utility of Staff Training on Correcting Sleep Problems in People With Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings, Hylkema T et al, in Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 8, 2, 85–91,