Analysis of sleep and sleep hygiene in relation to the 2020 24-Hr Canadian Movement Guidelines among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A Pilot Study




Coxon, Matthew

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Background: A variety of physiological and behavioural factors contribute to adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) being at high risk of problems with sleep duration and sleep quality. Sleep problems in this demographic may have been exacerbated by changes and restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: The objective of this pilot study was to determine if collecting field data using smartwatch technology and sleep and physical activity diaries was feasible in this population. Utilizing these methodologies, the main goal was to monitor the sleep duration and sleep quality of adults with IDD and to compare those findings to the recommendations in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Additionally, sleep hygiene behaviours and daily activities were recorded to further understand relationships between sleep and these variables. Methods: Participants (n = 15) were invited to wear a Polar Ignite smartwatch for a 9-day period and instructed how to complete a sleep and physical activity diary. Total sleep, actual sleep, sleep disturbances, and physical activity were recorded quantitatively using actigraphy. Behaviours were assessed using the sleep and physical activity diary. Results: Participants were able to consistently wear the smartwatch and report information in the sleep and physical activity diary. The majority of participants did not meet sleep duration guidelines based on their weekly average, with 9 out of 15 participants outside the guideline recommendations and only 1 participant meeting the guidelines every night. Participants regularly reported problems with their sleep and smartwatches recorded an average of 35:40 minutes (SD = 10:50) of sleep disturbances each night. Screen time before bed was the most common adverse sleep hygiene behaviour. Screen time was negatively, but not significantly correlated with total sleep (r = -0.34, p > 0.1) and actual sleep (r = -0.33, p > 0.1). Average moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was significantly correlated with sleep disturbances. This relationship was negative and moderately strong (r = -0.57, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This pilot study highlights that participants were able to provide seven days of sleep data and adhere to reporting their daily behaviours via a sleep and physical activity diary. Additionally, sleep duration and quality were not adequate in most participants. It is also likely that before-bed screentime had an adverse effect on sleep duration. Physical activity, on the other hand, had a positive effect on reducing sleep disturbances. These results suggest fruitful lines of enquiry, and future research with larger samples of adults with IDD are recommended to understand these relationships further. Researchers should have an ultimate objective of optimizing sleep, which in turn, would improve the health status of adults with IDD.



Sleep, Sleep Hygiene, Adults with IDD, Canada’s 2020 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, Actigraphy, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, COVID-19, OMICRON, Physical Activity