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Using psychology to improve sleep

Department of Psychology

About the Project

Sleep underpins many of the functions necessary for everyday living (Hafner, Stepanek, Taylor, Troxel & van Stolk, 2017). However, increasing economic and social demands mean that we are rapidly evolving into a 24-hour society (Rajaratnam and Arendt, 2001). These demands can compromise the quantity and quality of our sleep, which can have a substantial impact on health and well-being.

Previous research has used behaviour change interventions to improve sleep and sleep hygiene in adults. For example, Mairs and Mullan (2015) found that both self-monitoring and implementation intentions improved sleep hygiene and sleep outcomes. Horsch et al (2017) found that reminders increased adherence to an online self-help sleep intervention. However, little research has systematically used psychological frameworks (e.g. Michie and colleages COM-B model, e.g., Michie et al, 2011) to understand the facilitators of and barriers to good sleep, and used these as the basis for intervention development. This PhD project will therefore use the COM-B model to understand the facilitators and barriers to good sleep and sleep hygiene, and design and evaluate potential interventions to improve sleep.

Funding Notes

Self funded or sponsored students only

NB The University has some scholarships under competition - application deadline is 29 January 2020 at 5pm. More details can be found - View Website

Start dates are October and March yearly


References: Michie, S., Van Stralen, M. M., & West, R. (2011). The behaviour change wheel: a new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions. Implementation science, 6(1), 42.

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