Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Children Sleep Therapy Study

The Children Sleep Therapy Study is a psychological research project to examine and treat children having sleep problems at Bielefeld University and the University of Würzburg. The primary goal is to compare two different treatment methods. Both treatments aim to reducing the extent of the children's sleeping problems and the concomitant burden.

Sings of Sleeping Disorders in Children

  • Problems falling asleep
  • Problems sleeping through the night
  • Child cannot fall asleep or sleep through the night without parents/one parent
  • Fears while being in bed
  • Refusal of appropriate sleeping hours
  • Nächtliches Aufwachen
  • Nocturnal awakenings
  • Early-morning awakenings

Symptoms occur for at least 1 month.

If one or more points apply to your child, it is possible that it has a sleep disorder.


In the beginning, there is a detailed clinical diagnostic to identify factors, which contributed to development and maintenance of the sleeping disorder.
Afterwards, when participants fit into the study protocol, they are randomly assigned into one of two treatment groups ? either a group training or a single family counselling. Both treatments are based on clinical psychological research. The effective duration is the same in both treatment groups.

  • The single family counselling is a detailed sleep medical counselling addressing the most frequent causes and potentials for change in children with sleep difficulties.
  • The group training is for 5 ? 8 parents, where they get specific tips in 3 group sessions. There are 3 more sessions for the children, where they get tips and hints.

Appointments & Costs

The program includes a preliminary discussion for a detailed diagnostic of the sleep problems. Afterwards there are appointments for the treatment and a first debriefing date. After 3 month, a second debriefing date is taking place. The last debriefing helps to proof the scientific treatment success and on the other hand, it gives parents the chance to discuss the current status.

Families will get several questionnaires during the informational interview and the debriefing dates. These questionnaires assess sleeping behavior and associated behavior patterns of the child and its parents. We ask you to answer those questionnaires in a proper way. Moreover, we will ask your child to do a computer-based test assessing the ability to concentrate and pay attention.

Additionally, the child?s sleep is examined via actigraphy over a 7-day period. Actigraphy is an approved, non invasive method to measure activity and rest cycles. Therefore, the child will wear a small measuring device, similar to a watch, at its wrist, which records movement.

Participation is free of cost, but it is indispensable that you fill in all questionnaires at all study time points.

Children aged 5 - 10 years, which have sleep disorder symptoms for at least one month, and their parents can take part in the study.

Kalimba schlafend


You want to take part in the study?

Just get in touch with us without commitment. You can call us or write an email.

Your contact person:Dipl. Psych. Maria Zschoche

Dipl. Psych. Maria Zschoche
Department of Psychology
Clinic psychology and psychotherapy for
children and adolescents (AE7)
Postfach 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld

Phone: (0521) 106-4507


Termine und Kosten

Current information about the project:

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