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Research: An Evaluation of the Snooz & Slumba Prototype

Research summary written by Phil Tottman of Book of Beasties, read the full paper, from Alex Tapping here.

Snooz & Slumba prototype developed by Phil Tottman and Nadia De Kuyper of Book of Beasties, and Yesim Kunter, toy designer, play expert and futurist.

Introduction

The importance of establishing healthy sleep habits during early childhood cannot be overstated, given its significant implications for both immediate and long-term health outcomes. Despite the critical role of sleep in child development, there is a notable gap in accessible, scientifically evaluated resources aimed at supporting families to improve bedtime routines and sleep hygiene for preschool-aged children.

This summary blog delves into a study designed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a novel sleep resource, Snooz & Slumba, developed by Book of Beasties in collaboration with toy designer and play expert Yesim Kunter.

Methodology

The study employed a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) design to compare outcomes between families using the Snooz & Slumba resource and a waitlist control group. The intervention aimed to integrate into the bedtime routines of children aged 3–6, with the goal of enhancing sleep outcomes and overall mental health and wellbeing.

Feedback on the resource's utility and acceptability was collected from participants in the intervention group.

Overview of study design

Results

While the study faced challenges in feasibility, it provided valuable insights into modifications needed for future research. Notably, the intervention showed potential benefits on child psychological characteristics and wellbeing, albeit without significant improvements in sleep outcomes.

Feedback indicated that the resource was generally well-received, suggesting its potential as a beneficial tool for families when further developed.

Ratings of accessibility of the resource

Positive feedback

Snooz & Slumba

Relaxation exercises were fun and enjoyable

“Fun activities which my child enjoyed”
“I think the way breathing was integrated into story time made it really fun”

Relaxation exercises were helpful and calming

“I also think it calmed us all before bed as from the last 4 exercises you would feel relaxed from all the breathing techniques”
“Providing my child with tools to ease worries”

The storyline, characters and pictures

“The stories were interesting and magical”
“The pictures were great”

Easy to follow and use

“Easy to follow”
“The simplicity of the exercises”

Impact on parent-child bonding

“It allowed an element of quality time”
“I enjoyed spending quiet time with my daughter before bed”

Overall impact on the bedtime routine

“Bedtime has become quicker and easier. (Child name) even got to the end and didn’t want to do the activity because he was just ready for bed”
“Having something to provide routine and consistency”

Wider use of relaxation skills

“He also used the breathing methods at school when he got frustrated with friends!”

Education on sleep and bedtime routines

“It taught my child the importance of sleep"


Suggested Changes

Changes in language and wording

“More child friendly language in the story”

“The language of the story/poems was sometimes difficult for my child to engage with and understand”

Increase variety

“Many of the breathing exercises were quite similar”

“For some reason my daughter didn’t want to read the starting card after the first few times, saying ‘I know this bit, it’s boring’ ”

Changes to game-play

“It wasn’t fully clear to me what the difference was between the ones you were doing together and the ones my child was supposed to do on their own”

“Perhaps there could be less activities. (Child name) got bored after a while and refused to carry out the exercises. I think 3-4 exercises would be enough”

Cohesion and understanding of story

“The open and end card were a bit hard to understand at first. It took us a while to understand the backstory with the mist and the mountain”

“The cards could have a character or individual card character with each picture stating this is Snooz or this is Slumba as I think children would benefit from having an idea of who these are or a picture in their mind”

Aesthetic changes

“I think they should be slightly larger in size to fully appreciate the artwork…maybe a flash card size…”

“I think more colours and pictures as my child enjoyed looking at the pictures on the cards too”

Changes to exercises

“Some of the activities involved getting out lots of resources – pillows, toys which became a very active and lively task”

Age range

“It seemed more appropriate for a higher age range”

Frequency of use

Discussion

The study highlighted the complexity of measuring sleep interventions' efficacy, especially in a home setting. The mixed results on sleep outcomes versus the positive feedback on the resource's enjoyment and perceived benefits underscore the multifaceted nature of sleep hygiene interventions.

The findings suggest that while Snooz & Slumba may not have directly improved sleep metrics within the study's timeframe, it has the potential to positively impact broader aspects of child development and family dynamics.
Duration of use

Recommendations for Future Research

For Snooz & Slumba to progress to a larger scale RCT, several recommendations were made. These include refining the study design to better accommodate the realities of family routines, exploring more diverse and representative participant samples, and considering the integration of objective sleep measures.

Additionally, the feedback underscores the importance of further developing the resource to enhance its engagement and effectiveness.

Conclusion

The Snooz & Slumba resource represents a promising step towards addressing the gap in accessible tools for improving sleep hygiene and bedtime routines among preschoolers. While the direct impact on sleep outcomes requires further investigation, the positive effects on child wellbeing and the high level of acceptability among participants are encouraging.

With targeted refinements based on study feedback, Snooz & Slumba has the potential to become a valuable component of family bedtime routines, contributing to healthier sleep habits and, by extension, broader developmental benefits for children.

Sleep data

References

- Chaput, J. P., et al. (2020). Sleep and health outcomes: A systematic review.

- Itani, O., et al. (2017). Short sleep duration and health outcomes: A systematic review.

- Mindell, J. A., & Williamson, A. A. (2018). Benefits of a bedtime routine in young children: Sleep, development, and beyond.

This study underscores the critical need for accessible, evidence-based interventions aimed at enhancing sleep hygiene and routines among young children.

As the field of sleep research continues to evolve, resources like Snooz & Slumba play a pivotal role in translating scientific insights into practical tools for families, fostering healthier sleep patterns that can have lasting benefits on child development and family wellbeing.

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Friday, March 15, 2024
Research: An Evaluation of the Snooz & Slumba Prototype

Research summary written by Phil Tottman of Book of Beasties, read the full paper, from Alex Tapping here.

Snooz & Slumba prototype developed by Phil Tottman and Nadia De Kuyper of Book of Beasties, and Yesim Kunter, toy designer, play expert and futurist.

Introduction

The importance of establishing healthy sleep habits during early childhood cannot be overstated, given its significant implications for both immediate and long-term health outcomes. Despite the critical role of sleep in child development, there is a notable gap in accessible, scientifically evaluated resources aimed at supporting families to improve bedtime routines and sleep hygiene for preschool-aged children.

This summary blog delves into a study designed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a novel sleep resource, Snooz & Slumba, developed by Book of Beasties in collaboration with toy designer and play expert Yesim Kunter.

Methodology

The study employed a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) design to compare outcomes between families using the Snooz & Slumba resource and a waitlist control group. The intervention aimed to integrate into the bedtime routines of children aged 3–6, with the goal of enhancing sleep outcomes and overall mental health and wellbeing.

Feedback on the resource's utility and acceptability was collected from participants in the intervention group.

Overview of study design

Results

While the study faced challenges in feasibility, it provided valuable insights into modifications needed for future research. Notably, the intervention showed potential benefits on child psychological characteristics and wellbeing, albeit without significant improvements in sleep outcomes.

Feedback indicated that the resource was generally well-received, suggesting its potential as a beneficial tool for families when further developed.

Ratings of accessibility of the resource

Positive feedback

Snooz & Slumba

Relaxation exercises were fun and enjoyable

“Fun activities which my child enjoyed”
“I think the way breathing was integrated into story time made it really fun”

Relaxation exercises were helpful and calming

“I also think it calmed us all before bed as from the last 4 exercises you would feel relaxed from all the breathing techniques”
“Providing my child with tools to ease worries”

The storyline, characters and pictures

“The stories were interesting and magical”
“The pictures were great”

Easy to follow and use

“Easy to follow”
“The simplicity of the exercises”

Impact on parent-child bonding

“It allowed an element of quality time”
“I enjoyed spending quiet time with my daughter before bed”

Overall impact on the bedtime routine

“Bedtime has become quicker and easier. (Child name) even got to the end and didn’t want to do the activity because he was just ready for bed”
“Having something to provide routine and consistency”

Wider use of relaxation skills

“He also used the breathing methods at school when he got frustrated with friends!”

Education on sleep and bedtime routines

“It taught my child the importance of sleep"


Suggested Changes

Changes in language and wording

“More child friendly language in the story”

“The language of the story/poems was sometimes difficult for my child to engage with and understand”

Increase variety

“Many of the breathing exercises were quite similar”

“For some reason my daughter didn’t want to read the starting card after the first few times, saying ‘I know this bit, it’s boring’ ”

Changes to game-play

“It wasn’t fully clear to me what the difference was between the ones you were doing together and the ones my child was supposed to do on their own”

“Perhaps there could be less activities. (Child name) got bored after a while and refused to carry out the exercises. I think 3-4 exercises would be enough”

Cohesion and understanding of story

“The open and end card were a bit hard to understand at first. It took us a while to understand the backstory with the mist and the mountain”

“The cards could have a character or individual card character with each picture stating this is Snooz or this is Slumba as I think children would benefit from having an idea of who these are or a picture in their mind”

Aesthetic changes

“I think they should be slightly larger in size to fully appreciate the artwork…maybe a flash card size…”

“I think more colours and pictures as my child enjoyed looking at the pictures on the cards too”

Changes to exercises

“Some of the activities involved getting out lots of resources – pillows, toys which became a very active and lively task”

Age range

“It seemed more appropriate for a higher age range”

Frequency of use

Discussion

The study highlighted the complexity of measuring sleep interventions' efficacy, especially in a home setting. The mixed results on sleep outcomes versus the positive feedback on the resource's enjoyment and perceived benefits underscore the multifaceted nature of sleep hygiene interventions.

The findings suggest that while Snooz & Slumba may not have directly improved sleep metrics within the study's timeframe, it has the potential to positively impact broader aspects of child development and family dynamics.
Duration of use

Recommendations for Future Research

For Snooz & Slumba to progress to a larger scale RCT, several recommendations were made. These include refining the study design to better accommodate the realities of family routines, exploring more diverse and representative participant samples, and considering the integration of objective sleep measures.

Additionally, the feedback underscores the importance of further developing the resource to enhance its engagement and effectiveness.

Conclusion

The Snooz & Slumba resource represents a promising step towards addressing the gap in accessible tools for improving sleep hygiene and bedtime routines among preschoolers. While the direct impact on sleep outcomes requires further investigation, the positive effects on child wellbeing and the high level of acceptability among participants are encouraging.

With targeted refinements based on study feedback, Snooz & Slumba has the potential to become a valuable component of family bedtime routines, contributing to healthier sleep habits and, by extension, broader developmental benefits for children.

Sleep data

References

- Chaput, J. P., et al. (2020). Sleep and health outcomes: A systematic review.

- Itani, O., et al. (2017). Short sleep duration and health outcomes: A systematic review.

- Mindell, J. A., & Williamson, A. A. (2018). Benefits of a bedtime routine in young children: Sleep, development, and beyond.

This study underscores the critical need for accessible, evidence-based interventions aimed at enhancing sleep hygiene and routines among young children.

As the field of sleep research continues to evolve, resources like Snooz & Slumba play a pivotal role in translating scientific insights into practical tools for families, fostering healthier sleep patterns that can have lasting benefits on child development and family wellbeing.