Sleep Health Education Study | NYU Langone Health

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Center for Healthful Behavior Change Research Sleep Health Education Study

Sleep Health Education Study

Blacks get less sleep and are more likely to have a sleep disorder called sleep apnea than other racial and ethnic groups. Why Blacks face these challenges is not fully understood, but preliminary evidence suggest that the burden of poor sleep outcomes in racial and ethnic minorities (Blacks and Hispanics) may be due to biology, clinical factors (being overweight), and lifestyle factors (shift work and stress).

The Sleep Health Education program—a partnership between NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Columbia University, Harlem Health Promotion Center, Teachers College, and community stakeholders—uses education and research to help individuals, families, and communities learn about the importance of sleep and how the improvement of sleep health can lead to better health, wellness, and quality of life.

Our goal is to develop educational tools that deal with the issue of sleep and sleep apnea in the Black community (and other racial and ethnic minority communities). To that end, Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD, in the Department of Population Health, led a randomized controlled trial with 194 Black participants at high risk for sleep apnea. Participants in the intervention arm were given access to culturally and linguistically tailored web-based information designed to address unique barriers to sleep apnea care among Blacks. Participants in the attention-controlled arm received standard sleep information via the National Sleep Foundation website.

In this study, we hypothesized that exposure to tailored information about sleep apnea would improve sleep apnea health literacy. Our results demonstrated that stakeholder-engaged, theory-based approaches, such as our intervention, can be used successfully to deliver effective sleep health messages.

Learn more by reading our paper “Tailored Approach to Sleep Health Education (TASHE): a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Web-Based Application” published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Tailored Approach to Sleep Health Education Materials

As part of their study, faculty in NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health developed culturally and linguistically tailored web-based intervention materials about sleep apnea and sleep health.

The intervention materials, available below as PDFs, include information about the following topics:

Study results demonstrated that our approach was successful in delivering effective messages about sleep health.