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Open Access Study protocol

Evaluating the effectiveness of the Motivating Teens To Sleep More program in advancing bedtime in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial

Jamie Cassoff12*, Florida Rushani1, Reut Gruber2 and Bärbel Knäuper1

Author Affiliations

1 Health Psychology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, McGill University, Stewart Biology Building, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, QC H3A 1B1, Canada

2 Attention, Behaviour and Sleep Laboratory, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun, QC H4H 1R3, Canada

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BMC Psychology 2014, 2:6  doi:10.1186/2050-7283-2-6

Published: 26 March 2014



Sleep restriction is a prevalent issue for adolescents and has been associated with negative cognitive, emotional, and physical health (e.g., poor attention, depressed mood, obesity). Existing sleep promotion programs are successful in improving adolescents’ sleep knowledge but not sleep behaviour. The aim of this randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of Motivating Teens to Sleep More program – a sleep promotion program with embedded sleep education that combines three approaches: motivational interviewing style, tailoring activities, and stage-based intervention – as compared to a sleep education only control in motivating adolescents to go to bed earlier leading to prolonged sleep duration.


The Motivating Teens to Sleep More study will be conducted with adolescents at a Montreal high school. Half of the participants will be randomly assigned to the Motivating Teens to Sleep More program condition and the other half to the sleep education control condition. Each condition will consist of four 1-hour sessions spanning four consecutive weeks. Bedtime will be assessed by sleep logs completed for a week prior to the start of the program, in the middle of the program and following the program. Sleep onset and total sleep time will be assessed by actigraphy for one week prior to the start and following the program.


The Motivating Teens to Sleep More program is a novel intervention that contributes theoretically to the field of pediatric sleep by merging three approaches to motivate normally developing adolescents to adopt earlier bedtimes. Should the program be successful in advancing bedtimes and increasing total sleep time, the study would offer insights in how to design effective motivational sleep promotion programs for adolescents, which can potentially improve adolescent health and well-being.

Trial registration


Adolescent sleep; Motivation; Sleep promotion; Sleep restriction; Bedtime