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World Sleep 2022 | Wake Up and Learn: a school-based sleep education and surveillance program

Anne Marie Morse, DO, FAASM, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, discusses a school-based sleep education and surveillance program called “Wake Up and Learn”. The reality of sleep science is that it is not convenient for patients to always be in the clinic – nor is it possible to treat all patients who suffer from sleep disorders. The World Health Organization has recommended that disorders that are common, able to be screened, and treated, should be screened in schools. Dr Morse has adopted this model in school settings to assess sleep behaviors in children and teens; findings have begun to demonstrate that excessive daytime sleepiness is extremely prevalent – yet not fixed. At the beginning of the year, 17% of children exhibited excessive daytime sleepiness, yet once repeated later in the school year, this had reduced to 15%. This demonstrated interval improvement – however, only 30% of those students were sleepy at the beginning of the year. Therefore, most students expressing excessive daytime sleepiness fall into the ‘new sleepiness’ category – inferring multiple factors as to why there are sleep problems in teens. This research will help understand the infrastructure/ecosystem of children at schools and how meaningful changes can be made to improve their wellbeing. This interview took place at the World Sleep Conference in Rome, Italy.