The Get To Sleep Study: Assessing the Feasibility of Using Mobile Methods to Assess Neighborhood Context and Sleep among Urban Adolescents

Pilot Project

The Get To Sleep Study: Assessing the Feasibility of Using Mobile Methods to Assess Neighborhood Context and Sleep among Urban Adolescents

Insufficient sleep is highly prevalent among adolescents and increases disease risk. Adolescents from low income communities are a vulnerable population at particular risk for insufficient sleep. Although a growing evidence base suggests that neighborhood-level stressors including crime and physical disorder adversely influence adolescent sleep, key methodological issues limit understanding of the environmental determinants of adolescent sleep. Importantly, although urban adolescents spend large percentages of time away from home, prior studies have focused on where adolescents live, rather than where they spend their time. GPS-enabled smartphones offer an innovative opportunity to overcome the limitations of past studies by developing dynamic neighborhood exposure measures that account for all places where adolescents spend time. An improved understanding of the environmental determinants of adolescent sleep is needed to inform place-based interventions, population health and treatment strategies that support healthy sleep across the range of contexts adolescents encounter in daily life. The overall objective of this application is to 1) determine the feasibility of using GPS tracking, geographic information systems, and ecological momentary assessment over a 7-day period to develop measures of urban adolescents’ exposure to neighborhood crime, disorder, and green space throughout daily activities, and 2) to explore preliminary associations of these exposures with objectively-measured sleep duration. These aims will be accomplished through a pilot feasibility study with 20 adolescents aged 15-17 years old enrolled through a large Philadelphia pediatric primary care practice. Support from LDI will establish the feasibility of this approach and provide preliminary data for an NIH career development award application.