Bedtime Routines Intervention for Children (BRIC) project: results from a non-randomised feasibility, proof-of concept study

George Kitsaras* (Corresponding Author), Iain A Pretty, Julia Allan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Bedtime routines are highly recurrent family activities with implications for children's wellbeing, development and health.

AIMS: The objective of this study is to co-develop and test in a feasibility, proof-of-concept study a bedtime routines intervention using text messages aimed at first-time parents with young children.

METHODS: Fifty first-time parents with children aged 1-3 years were recruited for this study. Parents received a text message-based intervention for 7-consecutive nights which provided support and information on achieving optimal bedtime routines. Parents completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires focusing on children's sleep, bedtime routines and parental mood disturbance. Feedback was provided at the end of the study.

RESULTS: Recruitment target and high retention with 98%, or 49 out of 50 participants completing the study were achieved. Pre- and post-intervention, there were improvements in total children's sleep with children sleeping longer and having less disrupted sleep overall (MD = - 7.77 (SD = 17.91), t(48) = - 3.03, p = .004, CI (- 12.91, - 2.63) and in overall quality of bedtime routines (MD = - 5.00, SD = 7.01, t(48) = - 4.98, p < .001, CI (- 7.01, - 2.98). Parental mood disturbance decreased pre- to post-intervention (MD = 5.87, SD = 15.43, t(48) = 2.66), p = .010, CI (1.44, 10.30). Parents provided positive feedback about the intervention and valued the support that was provided to them.

CONCLUSIONS: Bedtime routines were successfully altered with short-term benefits for children's sleep and parental mood. Future research will need to utilize a more robust, longitudinal approach for a definite exploration of sustained changes in bedtime routines and their long-term implications for children and parents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
Number of pages12
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
Early online date6 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

The research team would like to thank all of our participants who, despite the challenges faced by a global pandemic and the delicate task of juggling work and family life, dedicated their time for our study. We would also like to thank the parents who helped with the development of the intervention, their help was invaluable.

This project is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Public Health Intervention Development Scheme (Award ref.: MR/T002980/1).


  • Child
  • Wellbeing
  • Sleep
  • Parenting
  • Behaviour Change


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