Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Effectiveness of a Sleep Intervention in Adults at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome With Short Sleep Duration

Susan Kohl Malone, Freda Patterson, Laura Grunin, Gary Yu, Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Gail D’Eramo Melkus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of short sleep duration is rising and is linked to chronic comorbidities, such as metabolic syndrome (MetS). Sleep extension interventions in adults with MetS comorbidities and short sleep duration are limited and vary widely in terms of approach and duration. Objectives: This pilot study aimed to test the feasibility and acceptability of a personalized 12-week systematic sleep time extension intervention on post-intervention sleep outcomes in middle-aged adults at risk forMetSwith actigraphy-estimated short sleep duration. Methods: A single-arm, 12-week, 12-session systematic sleep time extension intervention was delivered weekly via videoconferencing. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed using retention rates and mean sleep diary completions. Sleep was estimated for 14 consecutive days prior to and immediately following the 12-week intervention using wrist actigraphy. Daytime sleepiness was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Paired sample t-tests modeled changes in study outcomes. Results: Study participants (N = 41) had a mean age of 52 years and were mostly female and White; 86% attended >80% of sessions, and mean sleep diary completion was 6.7 diaries/week. Significant improvements in sleep from pre- to post-intervention included increased total sleep time, earlier sleep onsets, more regular sleep onsets, a higher sleep regularity index, and reduced daytime sleepiness. Extending sleep, as well as improving sleep timing and regularity in middle-aged adults with actigraphy-estimated short sleep duration and at risk for MetS, is feasible and acceptable. Discussion: Behavioral sleep characteristics may be modifiable and present a novel behavioral paradigm for mitigating MetS risk. This pilot study provides a proof of concept for the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a systematic sleep time extension for middle-aged adults at risk for MetS with actigraphy-estimated short sleep duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalNursing research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • metabolic syndrome
  • middle aged
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep extension
  • sleep initiation and maintenance disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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