Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Sleep Educational Website

Technology #5977

In the last decade, there has been increased interest in sleep-related problems experienced by young adults attending school. In particular, college and university students have been reporting fatigue and daytime sleepiness , insufficient sleep duration, and poor sleep quality. Students who work during the school year appear to face an even greater risk of having sleep problems than non-workers, since they combine school, paid work, and extracurricular activities. Moreover, a study among 17- and 18-yr-olds revealed that students who work during the school year had shorter sleep duration on weekends than those who did not and were, therefore, at greater risk of sleep deprivation. Of a total population of 305 million Americans, 58% are estimated to experience insomnia symptoms or sleep disorders. Companies across America are trying to sell us a perfect night’s sleep with pills, premium mattresses, high tech pillows, white noise machines, aromatherapy, and more. And it has fast become a $23.7 billion a year industry.

Interactive sleep educational website

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have developed an interactive sleep educational website that that provides personalized information on how sleep, sleep patterns, and daytime alertness and can affect learning, memory, grades, and driving. Interactive sleep educational website was developed to educate college students their own typical sleep pattern and level of sleepiness (Sleep Personality Profile). One of the most personalized features of this educational interactive website is to create the Sleep Personality Profile, which is a composite score of 2 well-established and validated questionnaires, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and the Morning-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). This Sleep Personality Profile will then direct the tailored information on sleep hygiene (targeted to patients based on their level of sleepiness (sleepy or not sleepy)), the impact of technology on sleep, how their own circadian rhythm influences wakefulness and sleep and how naps can enhance grade point average and learning. Each Sleep Personality Profile will have its own name and image. The overall goals of this program are to: 1. Develop a brief, visually engaging website to teach college students that sleep, sleepiness, sleep; patterns, and sleep hygiene can affect grades, learning, memory and driving safety. 2. Educate students on their own typical sleep pattern and level of sleepiness (Sleep Personality Profile); 3. Demonstrate how some behaviors and technology can impact sleep and the ability to fall asleep and 4. Educate that naps can be academically beneficial.

Application

• Target college students through their universities to enhance sleep knowledge
• Target sleep study patients
• Target manufacturing workers
• Target law enforcement officers
• Target overworked executives
• Target clinically depressed patients
• Target Home-based sleep centers
• Target non-hospital based sleep labs
• Target Hospital-based sleep labs refer to sleep centers or clinics
• Target Private Sleep Centers & Labs
• Target Physician Practices

Advantage

• There are currently no available educational programs that can reach a large number of college students to teach on the importance of sleep.