Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Sleep Well Be Well

An app containing evidence-based strategies that helps parents manage problems earlier, with research from MCRI.


Child Behavioural Sleep Problems


Sleep plays an important factor in our daily routine and in the development of children.


Child behavioural sleep problems (such as problems getting to sleep or waking up at night) has adverse impacts on mental health, quality of life and learning.


These behavioural sleep problems affect up to 30% of typically developing children, and 70% of children with neurodevelopment disorders such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders.

The Challenge

How can child behavioural sleep problems be managed by parents and trained health professionals from home?

Parents and health professionals find difficulty in identifying and treating child behavioural sleep problems, usually requiring further input from specialists sleep services. Early prevention and management methods from sleep disorder clinics are effective, but often have waiting lists anywhere from 6-12 months.

Our Solution

Integrating evidence-based strategies into a mobile app
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MCRI’s Sleep Well Be Well (SWBW) team outlined a digital coaching program for parents to upskill them in managing sleep problems in children aged 3-13 years.

The SWBW native mobile app was co-designed alongside the WeGuide team, integrating evidence-based strategies that help parents and professionals manage problems earlier through instructional animations, tasks, videos and case studies.

WeGuide’s implementation partner Curve Tomorrow worked with the SWBW team to understand exactly what was required for this digital therapeutic through UX workshops and consultation. These insights were then translated into functional requirements to configure the platform to suit the needs of the study.


The team managed to build out a successful native app that has been downloaded and used by hundreds of patients in a successful clinical trial. At follow up, care givers reported:
  • Fewer moderate/severe child sleep problems (84.6 → 40.7%)
  • Improved problem child sleep patterns
  • Better temperament
  • Improved care giver mental health

Care giver sleep quality and quantity remained unchanged. Health service use (averaged over a 6‐month period pre‐ and post‐intervention) fell from 18.9% pre‐ to 14.1% post‐intervention.

This research was published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health on 8th August 2020. Congratulations to Prof. Harriet Hiscock and the MCRI team for such a great outcome!

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