Notable Quotes

June 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

“Results of the current study could impact adolescent students. This study supports a relationship between adolescent sleep and increased attendance and graduation rates. Understanding the relationship between adequate amounts of sleep and daytime functioning is important. The present study provides evidence that with a delay in start times, students reap the benefit of a school schedule that is in synchronization with their internal biological clock.”—Pamela Malaspina McKeever, Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Policy, and Instructional Technology, Central Connecticut State University, Linda Clark, Ph.D. (McKeever & Clark, in press, Delayed high school start times later than 8:30am and impact on graduation rates and attendance rates (Feb. 1, 2017) Sleep Health, p. 6.)

“Studies of later start times have consistently reported benefits to adolescent sleep, health and learning using a wide variety of methodological approaches. In contrast there are no studies showing that early starts have any positive impact on sleep, health or learning.”—Paul Kelley, Ph.D., Honorary Research Associate, Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Steven Lockley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., C.B.E., Professor of Circadian Neurosciences, Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Jonathan Kelley, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Nevada, Reno. (Kelley, Lockley, Foster, & Kelley, Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: ‘let teens sleep, start school later’ (Aug. 1, 2014) Learning, Media and Technology, p. 11.)

exeter school classroom -- foucaultblog“We find that when a student is randomly assigned to a first period course starting prior to 8 a.m., they perform significantly worse in all their courses taken on that day compared to students who are not assigned to a first period course. Importantly, we find that this negative effect diminishes the later the school day begins. [¶] Our findings have important implications for education policy; administrators aiming to improve student achievement should consider the potential benefits of delaying school start time. A later start time of 50 minutes in our sample has the equivalent benefit as raising teacher quality by roughly one standard deviation. Hence, later start times may be a cost-effective way to improve student outcomes for adolescents.”—Scott Carrell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of California at Davis, Teny Maghakian, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University, James West, Ph.D., W.H. Smith Professor of Economics, Baylor University. (CarrellMaghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents (Aug. 2011) 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, pp. 63, 80.)

“A small change [in school start time] could result in big economic benefits over a short period of time for the U.S. In fact, the level of benefit and period of time it would take to recoup the costs from the policy change is unprecedented in economic terms.”—Marco Hefner, M.Sc. in economics, University of Zurich; M.Phil. Programme in economics, University College of London. (Press Release, Shifting School Start Times Could Contribute $83 Billion to U.S. Economy Within a Decade (Aug. 30, 2017) Rand Corp.)

“Obtaining adequate sleep is important for achieving optimal health. Among adolescents, insufficient sleep has been associated with adverse risk behaviors, poor health outcomes, and poor academic performance. In view of these negative outcomes, the high prevalence of insufficient sleep among high school students is of substantial public health concern. Healthy People 2020 includes a sleep objective for adolescents: to ‘increase the proportion of students in grades 9 through 12 who get sufficient sleep (defined as 8 or more hours of sleep on an average school night).’ However, the proportion of students who get enough sleep has remained approximately 31% since 2007, the first year that the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey included a question about sleep, meaning that more than two thirds of high school students do not get enough sleep. Multiple contributors to insufficient sleep in this population might exist. In puberty, biological rhythms commonly shift so that adolescents become sleepy later at night and need to sleep later in the morning. These biological changes are often combined with poor sleep hygiene (including irregular bedtimes and the presence of televisions, computers, or mobile phones in the bedroom). During the school week, the chief determinant of wake times is school start time. The combination of delayed bedtimes and early school start times results in inadequate sleep for a large portion of the adolescent population.”—Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D., Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Gabrielle A. Ferro, Ph.D.; Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Janet B. Croft, Ph.D., Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. (Wheaton, Ferro, & Croft, School Start Times for Middle School and High School Students — United States, 2011–12 School Year (Aug. 7, 2015) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Rep. 30, p. 811, citations omitted.)

Strongman lifting barbell inside of mans brain“Sleep is the most effective cognitive enhancer we have.”—Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., C.B.E., Professor of Circadian Neurosciences, Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford. (Harvey, Teensleep (2015) Univ. of Oxford, Nuffield Dept. Clin. Neurosciences.)

“Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body[.]”—Matthew Walker, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Director, Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory. (Green, Sleep is the New Status Symbol (Apr. 8, 2017) N.Y. Times.)

“A one-hour delay in a school’s start time has the same effect as being in a class with one-third fewer students or replacing an average teacher with one in the 84th percentile of effectiveness. [¶] Delaying start times by one hour for students in secondary school would increase overall student achievement by roughly 0.10 standard deviation, on average. As in previous studies, this gain can be quantified as a dollar value in order to compare the benefits of this policy change with its potential costs. A one standard deviation rise in test scores is estimated to increase future earnings by 8%. Assuming a 1% growth rate for real wages and productivity and a 4% discount rate, this translates to an approximately $10,000 increase in future earnings per student, on average, in present value terms. The benefit is even larger for students at the bottom of the grade distribution.”—Teny Maghakian, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University. (Maghakian, The educational effects of school start times (Aug. 2015) 181 IZA World of Labor, pp. 5-6, citation omitted.)

“The Central Virginia jurisdiction with earlier school start times manifested a nearly 30% greater teen crash rate, supporting our Southeast Virginia findings — increased teen crash rate in the city with earlier start times. While a causal relationship between school start times and teen crash rates cannot be ascertained police-tapefrom aggregate data, replication of prior data and marked differences presently found suggest earlier high school start times may increase crashes in this vulnerable population.”—David Leszczyszyn, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Medical Director, Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Sleep, Robert Vorona, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Mariana Szklo-Coxe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Community and Environmental Health, Old Dominion University, Rajan Lamichhane, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Old Dominion University, A. McNallen, Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University. (Leszczyszyn, Vorona, Szklo-Coxe, Lamichhane, McNallen, The Virginia Jurisdiction with an Earlier Public High School Start Time Again Demonstrates Greater Teen Crashes (2013) 36 J. Sleep, Abstract Supp., No. 1083, pp. A370-A371 [pre-publication abstract of study comparing teen crash rates in Chesterfield County (7:20 a.m. start time) and Henrico County (8:45 a.m. start time) using the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test and summary crash rates using the Z-statistic]; see, Vorona, Szklo-Coxe, Wu, Dubik, Zhao, & Ware, Dissimilar Teen Crash Rates in Two Neighboring Southeastern Virginia Cities with Different High School Start Times (Apr. 2011) 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2, pp. 145-151.)

Sheriff's badge“The subject of early school start times and the effects on truancy, disciplinary problems, and academic success has been a topic of countless studies. We are familiar with the large body of evidence that correlates chronic sleep deprivation with substance abuse, aggression, impulsivity, and anti-social behavior leading to increased criminal activity. Sleep deprivation resulting in increased auto accidents is undeniable. [¶] There are myriad studies linking adolescent sleep deprivation with early school start times and proponents point to many of these findings to support a change that would allow high school students to have a later start to their day. We believe it is certainly an issue worthy of examination to determine what is in the overall best interest of our youth. It just makes sense to give serious consideration to any feasible proposals that focus on determining the best course of action for mitigating the potential for teenage behavioral problems to the extent possible. [¶] We are confident in our community’s ability to act in the best interest of our adolescent students and our agency stands ready to provide whatever statistical information we have available which may be helpful in the decision-making process.”—Larry Ashley, Sheriff, Okaloosa County, Fla. (Ashley, Early School Start Times (Aug. 21, 2013) Letter to Florida’s Community Leaders and Legislators.)

Accountability magnifying glass -- tvinemedia“Education start times are the responsibility of education bodies and institutions, and thus it could be argued they have full responsibility for any foreseeable negative impact of early start times. Education bodies and institutions have an affirmative duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to their students, in part because of the compulsory nature of education. This duty of care may include warning of known risks or dangers and providing a safe environment (this may be taken to include the temporal environment). These considerations, taken as a whole, suggest that consideration of legal risks involved in keeping early start times may be advisable.”—Paul Kelley, Ph.D., Honorary Research Associate, Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Clark J. Lee, J.D., M.P.H., C.P.H., Senior Law and Policy Analyst, Center for Health and Homeland Security, University of Maryland. (Kelley & Lee, Later School Start Times in Adolescence: Time for Change (May 2014) Ed. Commission of the States, p. 4.)

“In summary, the cumulative evidence from our systematic review indicates that delayed school start time interventions increase total sleep time, therefore presenting a potential long-term solution to chronic sleep restriction during adolescence. This study also verifies the wealth of non-experimental research suggesting the importance of delayed school start times, particularly during adolescence, to improve cognitive performance, academic functioning, mood and health, all faculties that affect students, as well as their peers, teachers, and families.”—Karl Minges, M.P.H., Yale School of Nursing, Nancy Redeker, Ph.D., R.N., Beatrice Renfield Term Professor of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing. (Minges & Redeker, Delayed school start times and adolescent sleep: A systematic review of the experimental evidence (2016) 28 Sleep Med. Rev., p. 90.)

“Given the danger posed to young people from car accidents this is a strong reason in itself to change school start times.”—John Cline, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School Traffic lights -- a bit complexof Medicine, after 2008 study by Danner & Phillips found one hour delay in high school start times (7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.) in Fayette County, Kentucky associated with 16.5% drop in teen crash rates as compared to 7.8% rise in the state. (Cline, Do Later School Start Times Really Help High School Students? (Feb. 27, 2011) Psychology Today.)

“Most of us in sleep medicine now believe that teenagers require nine-plus hours of sleep each night, and the consequences of insufficient sleep include excessive daytime sleepiness, mood disorders, and even potential suicidal ideation[.] [¶] Many of us think that early high school start times could be problematic and may be a major determinant of these high rates of accidents and fatalities, and that later start times would be more in tune with teenagers’ circadian rhythm[.]”—Robert Vorona, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School. (APSS: Later School Start Times May Cut Teen Car Crashes (Jun. 11, 2010) Medpage Today.)

“Common sense to improve student achievement that too few have implemented: let teens sleep more, start school later[.]”—Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, via Twitter, @arneduncan (Aug. 19, 2013, screen capture here), commenting on August 18, 2013, Washington Post editorial, A smarter way to start high schoolers’ days.

school bell“School administrators would serve students and teachers better by moving the opening bell later. The weight of the evidence from decades of studies suggests that creating conditions to encourage student sleep would improve the students’ mood, energy, alertness, and academic performance. [¶] Schools are not solely responsible for the perfect storm of teen sleep, but they can make a huge difference by moving to a later start time. The result would be happier, healthier, more attentive, and better performing students in high school.”—Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine, Director of Chronobiology and Sleep Research at Bradley Hospital. (Carskadon, For better student health, start school later (Sept. 5, 2012) Brown Univ.)

“This change to the circadian rhythm is in contrast to the extrinsic demands of an early school start time, resulting in an overall decrease in total sleep duration. In essence, adolescents must be awake and learning at a time of day when their bodies should be sleeping.”—Melisa Moore, Ph.D., Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, The Sleep Center, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health. (Moore & Meltzer, The sleepy adolescent: causes and consequences of sleepiness in teens (2008) 9 Paediatric Respiratory Rev., p. 116.)

“Thus, early school start time—the main predictor of an earlier wake time among adolescents on school days—conflicts with adolescent circadian biology. [O]ur findings confirm that on school days, adolescents are obtaining less sleep then they are considered to need, and school start time is the factor with the greatest impact. If sleep loss is associated with impaired learning and health, then these data point to computer use, social activities and especially school start times as the most obvious intervention points.”—Kristen Knutson, Ph.D., M.A., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary/Critical Care, University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Diane Lauderdale, Ph.D., M.A., M.A., Professor of Epidemiology, University of Chicago. (Knutson & Lauderdale, Sociodemographic and behavioral predictors of bed time and wake time among U.S. adolescents aged 15–17 years (Mar. 2009) 154 J. Pediatrics 3, p. 430.)

lip-balm“Sleep, especially deep sleep, is like a balm for the brain[.]”—Shashank V. Joshi, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (child and adolescent psychiatry and child development) and, by courtesy of Pediatrics at the Stanford University Medical Center and, of Education. (Richter, Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic (Oct. 8, 2015) Stanford Medicine News Center.)

“Getting adequate dream (rapid eye movement [REM]) sleep is essential to perceptual, cognitive, and emotional processing. Selective REM sleep deprivation has been demonstrated to cause symptoms of irritability and moodiness, as well as problems with memory. The issue of under-sleeping in adolescents takes on added significance when one considers that waking up too early costs the sleeper mostly REM sleep which predominates during the last two to three hours of a night’s sleep. [¶¶] [E]arly school start times clearly contribute to sleep-deprivation in growing teens, making them even more vulnerable to all the challenges of adolescence, and increases the likelihood of accidents, psychological problems, and impaired learning in school.”—Edward O’Malley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Director, Norwalk Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, Mary O’Malley, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, New York University, Fellowship Director, Norwalk Hospital Sleep Disorders Center. (O’Malley & O’Malley, School Start Time and Its Impact on Learning and Behavior, publish. in, Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents (Ivanenko edit., Informa Healthcare 2008) pp. 81, 88, citations omitted.)

dreamcatcher“When teens wake up earlier, it cuts off their dreams[.] We’re not giving them a chance to dream.”—Rafael Pelayo, M.D., Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences – Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. (From A’s to Zzzz’s (Fall 2015) Stanford Medicine News Center.)

“Teens need more sleep; we already knew this. But we try and treat them like mini-adults. We cannot treat them the same way as an adult, though; they need more sleep and we adults need to acknowledge that.”—Rafael Pelayo, M.D. (Staff Rep., Back to school, and sleeping in (Aug. 12, 2010) The Examiner.)

“Start times really do matter. We can see clear increases of academic performance from just starting school later.”—Finley Edwards, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics, Baylor University. (Resmovits, Should A School Change Start Time For Sleep? Later School Start Times Improve Student Performance: Study (May 3, 2012) Huffington Post.)

“With approximately 100,000 students per year divided into three tiers, it would cost roughly $150 per student each year to move each student in the two earliest start-time tiers to the latest start time. In comparison, an experimental study of class sizes in Tennessee finds BurroughsClass3that reducing class size by one-third increases test scores by 4 percentile points in the first year at a cost of $2,151 per student per year (in 1996 dollars). These calculations, while very rough, suggest that delaying the beginning of the school day may produce a comparable improvement in test scores at a fraction of the cost.”—Finley Edwards, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics, Baylor University. (Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early? (Summer 2012) 12 Education Next 3.)

“Early school start times reduce performance among disadvantaged students by an amount equivalent to having a highly ineffective teacher. [¶] The earliest school start times are associated with annual reductions in student performance of roughly 0.1 standard deviations for disadvantaged students, equivalent to replacing an average teacher with a teacher at the sixteenth percentile in terms of effectiveness.”—Brian A. Jacob, Ph.D., Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Jonah E. Rockoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Finance and Economics, Columbia University. (Jacob & RockoffOrganizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 5, 7.)

“Many adolescents are not getting the recommended hours of sleep they need on school nights. Insufficient sleep is associated with participation in a number of health–risk behaviors including substance use, physical fighting, and serious consideration of suicide attempt. Public health intervention is greatly needed, and the consideration of delayed school start times may hold promise as one effective step in a comprehensive approach to address this problem.”—Lela McKnight–Eily, Ph.D., National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), Division of Adult and Community Health. (Insufficient sleep among high school students associated with a variety of health-risk behaviors (Sept. 26, 2011) CDC Online Newsroom.)

crosswalk -- look left“Changes in the circadian rhythms of adolescents cause many teens to fall asleep later, and early school start times prevent them from achieving adequate amounts of sleep. Previous work suggests that inadequate sleep leads to decreased academic performance, and later school start times are associated with longer sleep duration in adolescents. Our findings offer initial data of another benefit that might arise from later school start times: reduced pedestrian injury risk among adolescents walking to and from school.”—Aaron Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Kristin T. Avis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, & David C. Schwebel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Davis, Avis, & Schwebel, in press, The Effects of Acute Sleep Restriction on Adolescents’ Pedestrian Safety in a Virtual Environment (2013) J. Adolescent Health, p. 5, citations omitted.)

“Sending kids to school at 7 a.m. is the equivalent of sending an adult to work at 4 in the morning[.] It’s almost abusive to them.”—William Dement, M.D., Sc.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Division Chief, Stanford University Division of Sleep. (Diconsiglio, let me sleep! (Feb. 11, 2002) 134 N.Y. Times Upfront 9, p. 17.)

“Their biological rhythms are set in such a way that they really can’t wake up earlier. It’s like telling a person they have to jump eight feet. They just can’t.”—William Dement, M.D., Sc.D., Ph.D. (Fernandez, Politician Hopes to Reawaken Sleep Legislation (Mar. 25, 1999)

“During adolescence sleep becomes shallower and shifts to later hours, reflecting extensive brain rewiring. The frontal lobe – responsible for executive functions such as planning and inhibiting inappropriate behaviour – shows a marked fall in synapse density as the result of neuronal pruning. Teenagers are not just being lazy when they don’t want to get out of bed. Their adolescent biology may also prefer an adjustment of school hours. [¶] There is good evidence that young people don’t get enough sleep. When they live on an 8-hour sleep schedule they remain sleepy, and much more so than older people on the same schedule (Sleep, vol 33, p 211).”—Derk-Jan Dijk, Ph.D., M.Sc., Professor of Sleep and Physiology, University of Surrey, Director, Surrey Sleep Research Centre, Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, Ph.D., M.Sc., Lecturer in Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, University of Surrey. (Dijk & Winsky-Sommerer, Sleep: How much we need and what keeps us awake (Feb. 9, 2012) New Scientist [registration required to access article].)

“Behavioral approaches to intervene by altering the psychosocial milieu or the youngster’s perception of it–perhaps, by encouraging ‘early to bed, early to rise’–may be difficult in the presence of a biologically driven phase preference. Furthermore, the widespread practice in U.S. school districts for school buses to run and for the opening bell to ring earlier at high schools than at junior high schools, and earlier in junior high schools than primary schools,school bus heads down methodist drive toward havelock on a foggy morning may run precisely counter to children’s biological needs. By the same token, teenagers faced with long school bus rides in addition to early starting time for school may confront incremental challenges in conflict with the biological propensities.”—Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine, Director of Chronobiology and Sleep Research at Bradley Hospital, Cecilia Vieira, M.Sc., Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, Boston, Mass., Christine Acebo, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Research), Brown University. (Carskadon, Vieira, & Acebo, Association between puberty and delayed phase preference (1993) 16 Sleep 3, p. 261.)

“[O]ur inability to change start times is … illustrative of a larger pattern of neglecting the wellbeing and potential of our young people.”—Erika Christakis, M.P.H, M.Ed., Yale Lecturer on Early Childhood Education, Yale Child Study Center, Nicholas Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale University. (Christakis & Christakis, Why Are We Depriving Our Teens of Sleep? (Nov. 18, 2011) Time.)

“Almost all teenagers, as they reach puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep[.] What good does it do to try to educate teenagers so early in the morning? You can be giving the most stimulating, interesting lectures to sleep-deprived kids early in the morning or right after lunch, when they’re at their sleepiest, and the overwhelming drive to sleep replaces any chance of alertness, cognition, memory or understanding.”—James Maas, Ph.D., Retired Professor of Psychology, Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Cornell University. (Carpenter, Sleep deprivation may be undermining teen health (Oct. 2001) 32 Am. Psychological Assn. Monitor 9.)

“Sleep deficit is hampering high school achievement. Tiredness should not be confused with laziness. All teens should have the right to learn in an optimum environment. Rather than the ‘early to bed…’ adage, the new adage should be, ‘Wake up later and your grades will be greater.’ ”—James Maas, Ph.D. (Am. Lung Assoc. of New England, School Daze: A Wake Up Call (Sept. 2008) Healthy Air Matters, p. 4.)

clockface -- near midnight --“Because academic clocks are in conflict with teenagers’ body clocks, teenagers are one of the most sleep-deprived [populations] in the country.”—James Maas, Ph.D. (Lim, Maas Pushes for Later Start Time at Schools (Feb. 26, 2009) Cornell Daily Sun.)

“Almost all teenagers in this country are sleep-deprived.”—Maida Chen, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Assistant Director, Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital. (Amodei, Powering up your teen’s brain (Feb. 26, 2008) ParentMap.)

“Sleep deprivation among adolescents appears to be, in some respects, the norm rather than the exception in contemporary society.”—Robert E. Roberts, Ph.D., Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Catherine R. Roberts, M.P.H., Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, Hao T. Duong, M.D., Ph.D. (Roberts, Roberts, & Duong, Sleepless in adolescence: Prospective data on sleep deprivation, health and functioning (2009) 32 J. Adolescence, p. 1055.)

“Almost 80 percent of kids don’t get enough sleep. If they get one hour less than usual, they face significant academic and psychological consequences.”—David Palmiter, Psy.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Marywood University. (Heesen, Back to school: How to make the transition to high school a smooth one (Aug. 7, 2011)

Among adolescents, “daily feelings of anxiety, depression, and fatigue are the most consistent psychological outcomes of obtaining less sleep at night.”—Andrew Fuligini, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Christina Hardway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan. (Fuligini & Hardway, Daily Variation in Adolescents’ Sleep, Activities, and Psychological Well-Being (2005) 16 J. Research on Adolescence 3, p. 371.)

”Chronically sleep-deprived teens often become so used to the feeling of sleepiness that they don’t recognize that they are settling for less than they are capable of in creativity, academic performance, and communication both in and out of the classroom.”—Paula K. Rauch, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Director, Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Chief, Child Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service, Massachusetts General Hospital. (Rauch, What is Normal Sleep for Children and Adolescents? publish. in, Attention Deficit Disorder: Practical Coping Mechanisms (Fisher, edit., Informa Healthcare, 2nd ed. 2007) p. 175.)

“The results were stunning. There’s no other word to use. We didn’t think we’d get that much bang for the buck.”—Patricia Moss, M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Head of School and Head of the Latin Department, St. George’s School, Rhode Island, after start times were delayed from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. (Tanner, Study Shows Teens Benefit from Later School Day (Jul. 5, 2010) Assoc. Press.)

“Delaying school start times is a demonstrated strategy to promote sufficient sleep among adolescents.”— Danice K. Eaton, Ph.D., Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lela R. McKnight-Eily, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Richard Lowry, M.D., Adolescent and School Health, CDC, Geraldine S. Perry, Dr.P.H., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Letitia Presley-Cantrell, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, and, Janet B. Croft, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC. (Eaton, McKnight-Eily, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Prevalence of Insufficient, Borderline, and Optimal Hours of Sleep Among High School Students – United States, 2007 (2010) 46 J. Adolescent Health, p. 401.)

ConvenienceRoadSign“You know a school or a school district is in trouble when the strategic plan follows the principles of the ABC School of Management–Administration By Convenience. One of the best indicators of an adult-focused environment, one that is practicing the principles of ABC, is when research is blatantly ignored in favor of current practice.“—Mel Riddile, M.Ed., Ed.D, Associate Director for High School Services, National Association of Secondary School Principals, former state (Virginia) and National Principal of the Year. (Riddile, Time Shift: Is your school jet-lagged? (Mar. 14, 2011) Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals, Principal Difference.)

“It’s about adult convenience, it’s not about learning.”—Mel Riddile, M.Ed., Ed.D. (Tanner, Study Shows Teens Benefit from Later School Day (Jul. 5, 2010) Assoc. Press.)

“The results of this study demonstrated that current high school start times contribute to sleep deprivation among adolescents. Consistent with a delay in circadian sleep phase, students performed better later in the day than in the early morning. [¶] School schedules are forcing them to lose sleep and to perform academically when they are at their worst. [¶] Knowledge of the unusual weekday/weekend sleep phenomenon among adolescents could promote better family relationships if parents understood that sleeping late on weekends is part of their children’s inborn cycle and not lazy or antisocial behavior.”—Martha Hansen, M.S., Imke Janssen, M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Preventative Medicine, Rush Medical College, Adam Schiff, B.S., Phyllis C. Zee, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology & Physiology, Director, Sleep Disorders Program, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Margarita L. Dubocovich, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, SUNY Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. (Hansen, Janssen, Schiff, Zee, & DubocovichThe Impact of School Daily Schedule on Adolescent Sleep (Jun. 2005) 115 Pediatrics 6, pp. 1555, 1560.)

“A good deal of research shows sleep is very important for memory and learning. The evidence fairly strongly suggests that later start times are better. Inherently, the majority of kids with a later start will get more sleep, which is beneficial to grades as well as being safer.”—Philip Fuller, M.D., Medical Director, Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and Wake Disorders Center. (Sklarew, Getting A’s with More Z’s: The fight for later school starts has backing from doctors and statistics (Nov. 2011) N. Va. Magazine.)

“Teachers, parents and administrators should embrace the later start times given the positive impact they have on students.”—Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., Board-certified sleep specialist, recent past Chairman, National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting public education regarding sleep health and safety and sleep-related research, Founder and Director, Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology. (Rosenberg, More sleep means improved academic performance (Nov./Dec. 2012) 97 Am. Teacher 2, p. 3.)ny public library

Toxic, Abusive, Nonsense, Deleterious, Cruel, & Nuts

“There’s no question that later start times pose significant challenges and barriers, … but this is something within our control, something we can change to make a significant impact on the long-term health of children. … If you knew that in your child’s school there was a toxic substance that reduced the capacity to learn, increased the chances of a car crash and made it likely that 20 years from now he would be obese and suffer from hypertension, you’d do everything possible to get rid of that substance and not worry about cost. Early start times are toxic.”—Judith Owens, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Associate Professor of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital. (Clarkson, Resetting the Clock: High School Start Times (Apr. 1, 2013) Wash. Parent.)

“[T]hese early school start times are just abusive.”—Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University, Director, Chronobiology and Sleep Research, Bradley Hospital. (Carpenter, Sleep deprivation may be undermining teen health, supra, 32 Am. Psychological Assn. Monitor 9.)

Professor Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., Vice-Chair, Head of Human Chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology in Germany, says it is “nonsense” to start school early in the day. “It is about the way our biological clock settles into light and dark cycles. This clearly becomes later and later in adolescence. [¶] Sleep is essential to consolidate what you learn.” (Ryan, Lie in for teenagers has positive results (Mar. 22, 2010) BBC News.)

Citing the “deleterious impact of school times on our teenagers,” Janet Croft, Ph.D., a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, referred to early high school start times as “an unrealistic burden on children and their families. … It can change lives to change school start times. They can’t concentrate that early when driving that early in the dark. They stay sleepy all the day.” (Park, Falling Asleep in Class? Blame Biology (Dec. 15, 2008) CNN.)

“It is cruel to impose a cultural pattern on teenagers that makes them underachieve. Most school regimes force teenagers to function at a time of day that is suboptimal and many university students are exposed to considerable dangers from sleep deprivation.”—Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S.C.B.E., Head of Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Oxford University. (Making teens start school in the morning is ‘cruel’ brain doctor claims (Dec. 1, 2007) London Evening Standard.)

“All of the research that has been done shows that older adolescents need more sleep than younger ones. They fall asleep later and wake up later to get the sleep they need. Despite these two facts, almost all districts start the senior high schools first. We’re sending them to school during the last one-third of their sleep cycles. It’s comparable to adults getting up at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. You wouldn’t want to be making important decisions at that hour. I think it’s nuts. The sleep deficit builds up until they fall asleep at school or driving.”—Mark Mahowald, M.D., Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Director, Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center. (Delisio, It’s About Time (and Sleep): Making the Case for Starting School Later (Jun. 3, 2003) Education World.)
quill pen ink well -- bikesnobnyc

Four more from Professor Mahowald, two by William Shakespeare, and one each from John Locke and Robert Frost:

“Of all the arguments I’ve heard over school start-times, not one person has argued that children learn more at 7:15 a.m. than at 8:30.” (Bronson, Snooze or Lose (Oct. 7, 2007) New York Mag., web p. 3.)

“Most adolescents are sub-optimally alert in the morning. Yet their biological clocks program them to go to sleep late—too late to get an optimal amount of sleep before the next school day begins. If we as a society are sending kids to school to learn, it would be wise to send them in a condition that fosters learning.” (Lamberg, Teens aren’t lying — they really need to sleep later (Dec. 5, 1994) Am. Med. News, p. 24.)

“Not a single excuse [for not changing start times] we’ve heard relates to education. None of the excuses have the word ‘education’ in them. We should send kids to high school in a condition that promotes learning rather than interfering with it.” (Delisio, It’s About Time (and Sleep): Making the Case for Starting School Later, supra, Education World.)

“[S]chools are scheduled early for adult convenience: there’s no educational reason we start schools as early as we do.” (Bronson & Merryman, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children (Twelve Books 2009) p. 37, citing, rather than quoting, Professor Mahowald.)

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene III, lines 218-224 [Marcus Brutus to Cassius; interpretation: timing is everything].)

“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast,—” (Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II, lines 34-37.)

“The great cordial of nature is sleep. He that misses that, will suffer by it[.]”—John Locke. (Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (A. and J. Churchill, 1693) p. 24, original italics.)

path-through-the-woods“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” (Frost, Poetry of Robert Frost (Lathem, edit., Henry Holt and Co. 1969) p. 224 [from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”].)

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§ One Response to Notable Quotes

  • Stacy Simera says:

    “If there were a new educational program likely to boost test scores, reduce absenteeism, and generally make high school a more productive experience, school boards would be ready to jump on. Well, there is such a program, only its one that’s delivered by a bus driver, not a teacher…”
    Portland News Herald, September 11, 2012
    Editorial calling for all schools in Maine to adopt later start times for adolescents.

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