Regular sleep for a healthy future

Seniors Daily Exercise

Regular Sleep for a Healthy Future is this year’s slogan for the 14th annual World Sleep Day on March 19, 2021. Dr. Elizabeth Keys, IHLCDP Associate, and Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at UBCO is focused on fostering sleep health to promote healthy futures in children and their families, starting in early childhood. The focus of her research is to develop interventions that promote regular healthy sleep throughout early childhood and across the lifespan. Recent estimates suggest that up to 80% of families experience sleep difficulties during the first year of life, translating to more than 300,000 Canadian families per year. With its interconnected relationships to physical and psychosocial wellbeing, helping families achieve healthy regular sleep can promote optimal caregiving environments, early childhood development, as well as parental mental health and wellbeing. Dr. Keys is focusing her research on working with parents to co-design the SLeep solUtions to proMote Better Early childhood Relationships or SLUMBER program, which will help parents improve their infant’s sleep while also building the high-quality parent-child and family relationships that are the formative building blocks of early childhood mental health. Dr. Keys’ research has grown out of her clinical work with families as a public health nurse. Her research program includes studies to (a) generate evidence regarding how protective and risk factors may influence sleep health, b) co-design, adapt, and tailor sustainable and scalable interventions that optimize sleep health and parent-child interactions, and (c) understand what interventions work best for whom and when. Dr. Keys is currently involved in a pan-Canadian CIHR-funded implementation study of the Better Nights, Better Days online program for behavioral sleep problems in children ages 1 to 10 during COVID-19 Better Nights, Better Days During COVID-19 | Better Nights, Better Days.