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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Examining the influence of a text message-based sleep and physical activity intervention among young adult smokers in the United States

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
A. Jordan Filion, Gerarda Darlington, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Michele Ybarra, Jess Haines
Wichtige Hinweise
Gerarda Darlington, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Michele Ybarra and Jess Haines contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AJF, GD, JPC, MY, and JH developed the concept for the current study. AJF performed data analyses and drafted the manuscript. GD, JPC, MY, and JH provided guidance and critical feedback on all drafts of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Sleep and physical activity are two health behaviors associated with improved smoking cessation outcomes. Text message-based interventions have previously been used to promote physical activity and smoking cessation; however, this type of intervention has not targeted sleep habits. This study examined the effectiveness of a text message-based active control intervention in improving sleep and physical activity habits among a U.S. national sample of young adult smokers participating in a smoking cessation intervention.


This study was a secondary analysis of data from the Stop My Smoking USA randomized controlled trial. Baseline and 3-month follow-up data were collected from 116 young adult smokers (mean age 21.8 years, SD = 2.1) who were randomized at a 2:1 ratio to receive a 6-week text messaging program focused on either smoking cessation (n = 72), or improving sleep and physical activity (n = 44). Three main outcomes were assessed: 1) sleep quantity (on work/school nights, and non-work/non-school nights), 2) sleep quality, and 3) physical activity at follow-up. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to quantify the differences in these outcomes between the groups. To identify possible effect modification by baseline sleep and physical activity, the sample was stratified by indicators defined for both of these variables.


At follow-up, sleep quantity and quality were similar for participants in the smoking cessation and sleep/activity groups when assessed among the total sample and those sleeping ≥6 hours/night at baseline. Among short sleepers (<6 hours/night at baseline), sleep quantity on work/school nights improved for those receiving sleep/activity messages compared to those receiving smoking cessation messages, after adjusting for covariates (\( \widehat{\beta} \) =1.373, 95 % CI [0.262, 2.484]; p = 0.02). Physical activity at follow-up was similar for the two groups, when examined among the total sample and when stratified by baseline activity level.


This study provides preliminary evidence that a text message-based intervention may be a promising approach for improving sleep quantity among young adult smokers who are short sleepers and interested in quitting smoking. Similar programs should be further explored as a novel approach for improving sleep habits among individuals with insufficient sleep.

Trial registration NCT01516632
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