A sleep hygiene tool for children with developmental disabilities by Dr Julie Sutton et al

“...contributes to the evidence base that supports SHE as a credible first-line intervention for behavioural sleep problems in children...”


Dr Julie Sutton is senior lecturer in practice learning, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Chester;

Dr Jaci Huws is senior lecturer, School of Health Sciences, Bangor University;

Professor Christopher Burton is head, School of Allied and Public Health Professions, Canterbury Christchurch University.


This article describes a co-design study to develop a sleep hygiene education tool for children with developmental disabilities and behavioural sleep problems. The tool is underpinned by a programme theory, which explains how sleep hygiene education should work to improve children’s sleep.

In three co-design workshops, eight parents and six practitioners debated a preliminary sleep hygiene education tool, using themes developed from an earlier evidence review and exploratory study into parent and practitioner experiences of sleep hygiene education.

This participatory research established stakeholder acceptability of the SHE tool and confirmed the often-hidden contextual factors that can help or hinder its success, informing the underpinning programme theory.

Dr Julie Sutton is Interconnections Sleep Consultant. Visit here for our sleep courses facilitated by Julie.

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