According to Medscape, an online sleep education tool that targets college students improved sleep behaviors and sleep knowledge as well as risky drinking and depression.

“Not only did sleep knowledge improve, but sleep quality improved, depression scores went down, and mean alcohol consumption went down,” Shelley Hershner, MD, from the University of Michigan, who developed the “Sleep to Stay Awake” program, noted in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

She described the study here at SLEEP 2016: 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

A Barrier to Success

Inadequate sleep is a common problem for college students and a key barrier to success, Dr Hershner explained. “There really isn’t a lot of sleep education material for college students, and what there is, is all classroom-based,” she said.

With the Sleep to Stay Awake program, the student first completes a brief sleep questionnaire, which gives them a sleep personality profile. They then see several short videos focusing on technology and sleep, consequences of sleep deprivation; links between learning, sleep, and academic performance; and simple ways to improve sleep.

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