Sample Advocacy Letter (Academic Achievement)

December 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

This sample letter focuses particularly on recent studies by economists assessing typewriterthe effects of start times on student achievement before addressing the health benefits associated with later start times (here in docx). Alternate sample letters are available here (outline format) and here (comprehensive overview). As noted elsewhere, well after we prepared these sample letters, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued its Adolescent School Start Time Policy Statement (here or here). That document, and/or start time observations from scientists, physicians (including the AAP), and economists (see, Appen. C), will likely be far more persuasive than anything we can offer.

Your Name
Street Address
City, State/Zip
Phone, fax, and/or email

Today’s date

Addressee
Street Address
City, State/Zip

Dear Superintendent Last Name and Members of the School Board,

On behalf of my children who are students in this district, and in support of the well-being of all students, I write now to urge the adoption of healthy start times at Middle and/or High School. These two well-established facts serve as the bases for my request: (i) overwhelming evidence supports the conclusion that later starting students outperform their earlier starting peers academically; and, (ii) safeguarding the welfare and potential of adolescent students requires a delay in morning classes until 8:30 a.m., or later.

As to the first point, economists have recently established a causal relationship between later start times and improved academic performance among adolescent students. Notably, however, even before economists weighed in, Kyla Wahlstrom, Director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), reported that in schools which have delayed start times, the academic trend following the change goes exclusively towards higher grades. “[T]rend lines show grades rise when schools open later. We never see trend lines suggesting grades go down.” (Lamberg, High Schools Find Later Start Time Helps Students’ Health and Performance (2009) 301 J. Am. Med. Assn. 21, p. 2200.)

Bearing in mind that biological adolescence lasts until around 19.5 years for women and 20.9 years for men (Roenneberg, Kuehnle, Pramstaller, Ricken, Havel, Guth, & Merrow, A marker for the end of adolescence (2004) 14 Current Biology 24, pp. 38–39; see also, Kruszelnicki, Teenage Sleep (May 3, 2007) ABC Science), University of California and United States Air Force Academy economists studied course results from 2004 to 2008 for 6,165 first semester Air Force Academy cadets, controlling for potentially confounding factors — grading structure, class selection and teachers — for example, to determine the “causal effect” of school scheduling upon adolescent academic achievement. (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. 62-81.)

Air Force Academy students have no choice over their course schedules and, during the years studied, were assigned start times ranging from 7:00 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Unlike most high schools, all first-year students take the same classes and the same standardized course exams, providing a consistent objective outcome measure.

“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.” (Id., pp. 63, 80, italics added.)

“Despite our use of university-level data, we believe our findings are applicable to the high school student population more generally because we consider only freshmen students in their first semester at USAFA. Like high school seniors, first semester college freshman are still adolescents and have the same biological sleep patterns and preferences as those in their earlier teens. However, we recognize that USAFA students are not the average teen; they were high-achievers in high school and chose to attend military service academy. Although we do not know for certain if school start times affect high-achievers or military-types differently than teenagers in the general population, we have no reason to believe that the students in our sample would be more adversely affected by early start times. Because the students in our study self-selected into a regimented lifestyle, if anything, we believe our estimates may be a lower-bound of the effect for the average adolescent.” (Id., p. 63, italics in original.)

The economists found that a 50 minute delay in the first class increased grades by 0.15 standard deviations. (Id., pp. 62-81; see, Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., p. 8) Writing for the Brookings Institute, economists from Columbia University and the University of Michigan agree the Air Force Academy study may have “broader implications. [¶] College freshmen are just slightly older than high school students and share many of the biological characteristics associated with their sleep cycles. While Air Force cadets are clearly a special group, we cannot think of a good rationale why such high-achieving and highly disciplined young men and women would be more adversely affected by early start times than are typical teenagers.” (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., p. 8.)

In a 2012 study, Baylor University Economist Finley Edwards, visiting Professor of Economics at Colby College, compiled test data covering a 7-year period for middle school students in Wake County, North Carolina, now the 16th largest school district in the country. Edwards‘ study analyzes data for students beginning classes according to their bus scheduling; i.e., Tier I classes (7:30-7:45), and Tier II classes (8:00-8:45).  (Tier III classes (9:15 a.m.) are reserved for elementary school students.) Edwards examined standardized test data from the 14 middle schools changing start times by 30 minutes or more during the study period (2000-2006), and compared test scores for respective grade levels. Edwards also examined individual achievement before and after the change. (EdwardsEarly to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance (Dec. 2012) 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, pp. 970-983.)

The data showed that starting school one hour later (i.e., at 8:30 a.m.) led to average gains of 1.5 to 3 percentile points in standardized math test scores (0.06 to 0.09 standard deviations) and standardized reading test scores (0.03 to 0.10 standard deviations). With most middle schools beginning at 8:15 a.m., the gains in Edwards‘ data derive largely from the changes from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Disadvantaged students benefited the most, with effects roughly twice as large as advantaged students. In addition, the benefits of later start times increased as the children progressed through adolescence. (Ibid.) Moreover, tests administered to high school sophomores showed “[t]he benefits of a later start time in middle school appear to persist through at least the 10th grade.” (EdwardsDo Schools Begin Too Early? (Summer 2012) 12 Education Next 3.) By contrast, “the negative impact of early start times persists over time.” (EdwardsEarly to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance, supra, 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, p. 981.)

Edwards also found later start times associated with decreased absences, less time spent watching television and a greater amount of time spent on homework, indicating that these factors may help explain why later starting students have higher test scores. (EdwardsEarly to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance, supra, 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, p. 971.) Edwards concludes that “an increase in start times by 1 h would lead to a 3 percentile point gain in both math and reading test scores for the average student.” (Id., p. 982.) Auburn University Professor of Psychology Joseph Buckhalt cites Edwards‘ study as “direct evidence” of the “measurable significant effect” of later start times on adolescent academic achievement. (Buckhalt, Can Later Start Times Affect School Achievement? (Sept. 30, 2012) Psychology Today.)

Relying upon the foregoing studies, the biological evidence, a recent study by Cortes, et al., and data reflecting the prevalence of sleep deprivation among adolescents attending early starting schools, Brookings Institute economists “conservatively” estimate that shifting middle and high school start times “from roughly 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.[,]” will increase academic achievement by 0.175 standard deviations on average, with effects for disadvantaged students roughly twice as large as advantaged students, at little or no cost to schools; i.e., a 9 to 1 benefits to costs ratio when utilizing single-tier busing, the most expensive transportation method available. (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7 [distinguishing study by Hinrichs (here)].) “This impact is equivalent to an additional two months of schooling.” (Policy Brief, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Aug. 2011) Brookings Inst., Hamilton Project, p. 4.) “When translated into earnings, the average student who starts school later would make about $17,500 more over the course of her life.” (Ibid.; Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 6, 10 [accord].)

By contrast:

“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.” (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 5, 7.)

Considering the second point, student welfare and potential, joining her Harvard colleagues in endorsing later start times (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, pp. 382-383), Professor of Sleep Medicine Susan Redline advises that 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. classes begin too early for adolescent students to obtain sufficient sleep and serve to interrupt REM sleep. (Powell, Bleary America needs some shut-eye: Forum points to schools, hospitals, factories as ripe for sleep reform (Mar. 8, 2012) Harvard Science.) “Because of a multitude of intrinsic and environmental factors, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to disturbed sleep, and are one of the most sleep deprived age groups in the country.” (Lund, Reider, Whiting, & Prichard, Sleep Patterns and Predictors of Disturbed Sleep in a Large Population of College Students (Feb. 2010) 46 J. Adolescent Health 2, p. 124.) “Sleep deprivation among adolescents appears to be, in some respects, the norm rather than the exception in contemporary society.” (Roberts, Roberts, & Duong, Sleepless in adolescence: Prospective data on sleep deprivation, health and functioning (2009) 32 J. Adolescence, p. 1055.) “A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development.” (Bronson, Snooze or Lose (Oct. 7, 2007) N.Y. Magazine., web p. 2.)

CDC scientists report, “Delaying school start times is a demonstrated strategy to promote sufficient sleep among adolescents.” (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.) Citing the “deleterious impact of school times on our teenagers,” Janet Croft, Ph.D., a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, advises, “It can change lives to change school start times.” (Park, Falling Asleep in Class? Blame Biology (Dec. 15, 2008) CNN.) Adolescents require 9 or more hours of sleep per night (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. 79-80), but their “rather fixed” sleep pattern is biologically delayed, running from about 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. (Later Start Times for High School Students (2002) Univ. Minn.) Professor emeritus of Sociology at Stanford University, Sanford Dornbusch, admonishes, “Adults, unaware of the sleep needs of adolescents, require them to start school earlier in the day than is required of younger children.” (Dornbusch, Sleep and Adolescence: A Social Psychologist’s Perspective, publish. in, Adolescent Sleep Patterns, Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences (Carskadon, edit., Cambridge Univ. Press 2002) p. 3.)

Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at Brown University School of Medicine, and Director of Chronobiology and Sleep Research at Bradley Hospital observed recently:

“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.” (Carskadon, For better student health, start school later (Sept. 5, 2012) Brown Univ., italics added; see also, Backgrounder: Later School Start Times (2011) Nat. Sleep Foundation.)

Among adolescents, “daily feelings of anxiety, depression, and fatigue are the most consistent psychological outcomes of obtaining less sleep at night.” (Fuligini & Hardway, Daily Variation in Adolescents’ Sleep, Activities, and Psychological Well-Being (2005) 16 J. Research on Adolescence 3, p. 371.) Adequate sleep is necessary for young people to regulate their emotions. (Dahl, The Consequences of Insufficient Sleep for Adolescents: Links Between Sleep and Emotional Regulation (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 354-359; see also, Sleep Experts Concerned About St. Paul Start Time Change (Jun. 3, 2011) CBS.) In 2009, following a change in start time from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at St. George’s School, Dr. Judith Owens found the number of students reporting symptoms of depression declined (Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 7, p. 613), confirming outcomes from the Minnesota longitudinal studies (high school start times delayed from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Edina, from 7:15 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., Minneapolis). (Wahlstrom, Changing Times: Findings From the First Longitudinal Study of Later High School Start Times (Dec. 2002) 86 Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals Bull. 633, pp. 3, 13.) Given the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents, Dr. Owens reported the finding was “particularly noteworthy.” (Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior, supra, 164 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 7, p. 613.)

Serious consideration of suicide is among the many health-risk behaviors associated with restricted school night sleep in a 2011 CDC study. (McKnight-Eily, Eaton, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Relationships between hours of sleep and health-risk behaviors in US adolescent students (Aug. 5, 2011) Preventive Medicine, pp. 1-3; see also, O’Brien & Mindell, Sleep and Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents (2005) 3 Behavioral Sleep Med. 3, pp. 113-133; Pasch, Laska, Lytle, & Moe, Adolescent Sleep, Risk Behaviors, and Depressive Symptoms: Are They Linked? (Mar. 2010) 34 Am. J. Health Behavior 2, pp. 237-248.) Lead author of the CDC study, Lela McKnight–Eily, Ph.D., commented, “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.” (Insufficient sleep among high school students associated with a variety of health-risk behaviors (Sept. 26, 2011) CDC Online Newsroom; see also, Clinkinbeard, Simi, Evans, & Anderson, Sleep and Delinquency: Does the Amount of Sleep Matter? (Jul. 2011) J. Youth & Adolescence, pp. 1-3 [associating diminished sleep with increased likelihood of juvenile criminal conduct].)

A study published in April 2011 associates early start times in Virginia Beach (7:25 a.m., except one school at 7:20 a.m.) with 41% higher crash rates among teen drivers than in adjacent Chesapeake where classes started at 8:40 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. (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.) In assessing the evidence, lead researcher Robert Vorona, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, offered an advisement to school administrators. “We believe that high schools should take a close look at having later start times to align with circadian rhythms in teens and to allow for longer sleep times. Too many teens in this country obtain insufficient sleep. A burgeoning literature suggests that this may lead to problematic consequences including mood disorders, academic difficulties and behavioral issues.” (Teen Automobile Crash Rates are Higher When School Starts Earlier (May 12, 2010) Am. Academy Sleep Med.)

A study published in April 2011 associates early start times in Virginia Beach (7:25 a.m., except one school at 7:20 a.m.) with 41% higher crash rates among teen drivers than in adjacent Chesapeake where classes started at 8:40 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. (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.) Lead researcher Robert Vorona, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, directed his remarks to school scheduling. “We believe that high schools should take a close look at having later start times to align with circadian rhythms in teens and to allow for longer sleep times. Too many teens in this country obtain insufficient sleep. A burgeoning literature suggests that this may lead to problematic consequences including mood disorders, academic difficulties and behavioral issues.” (Teen Automobile Crash Rates are Higher When School Starts Earlier (May 12, 2010) Am. Academy Sleep Med.)

In reviewing a 2008 Kentucky start time/crash rate study reaching a similar outcome (Danner & Phillips, Adolescent Sleep, School Start Times, and Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes (Dec. 2008) 4 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 6, pp. 533–535), John Cline, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, concluded, “Given the danger posed to young people from car accidents this is a strong reason in itself to change school start times.” (Cline, Do Later School Start Times Really Help High School Students? (Feb. 27, 2011) Psychology Today.) Recognizing that sleep is “essential for basic survival, occurring in every species of living creature that has ever been studied[]” (Dahl, The Consequences of Insufficient Sleep for Adolescents: Links Between Sleep and Emotional Regulation, supra, 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, p. 355), later start time advocate Mandi Mader, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., puts the problem in perspective. ”Sleep deprivation, with such health consequences as depression, suicide, car crashes, and increased risk of other injuries, should be treated like hunger [deprivation]. We don’t expect children to learn without food and we shouldn’t expect them to learn without sleep.” (EOA Staff, Advocates Join Forces To Push For Common Sense School Start Times (Nov. 23, 2012) Eye On Annapolis.)

Please follow the evidence when determining the time of day school begins.

Yours truly,

Your Name/Title/Affiliation

Iowa Farm Bureau -- school bus country road

Sample Advocacy Letter (Overview)

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

In many instances, the initiative to adjust start times may be undertaken by legislators, or by community constituents such as physicians, antique-typewriterparents, PTA’s, voters’ groups, by the students themselves, or by you, rather than by school leaders (discussed in § IV, supra). While advocacy may take many forms, should writing be required, the sample letter below (here in docx) may serve as a basic template and may be modified as needed. Alternate sample letters are available here (outline format) and here (academic achievement, health/welfare). The difficulty, of course, is that each of these 6-7 page letters is about 6-7 pages longer than any school administrator is likely to ever read.

Well after we prepared these sample letters, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued its Adolescent School Start Time Policy Statement (here or here). That document, and/or start time observations from scientists, physicians (including the AAP), and economists (see, Appen. C), including recent evidence of attendance/graduation benefits, will likely be far more persuasive than anything we can offer.

Your Name
Street Address
City, State/Zip
Phone, fax, and/or email

Today’s date

Addressee
Street Address
City, State/Zip

Dear Superintendent Last Name and Members of the School Board,

I am the parent/guardian of a student presently attending School Name. I am writing to request that the School District implement healthy start times for middle and/or high school students. To safeguard the welfare and intellectual potential of these children, sleep experts recommend a delay in morning classes until 8:30 a.m., or later. (Start time recommendations available infra; see also, Vedaa, Saxvig, Wilhelmsen-Langeland, Bjorvatn, & Pallesen, School start time, sleepiness and functioning in Norwegian adolescents (Feb. 2012) Scandinavian J. Educational Research, pp. 55-67 [10th graders get 66 minutes more sleep and performance on attention/vigilance tasks improves with one hour start time delay to 9:30 a.m.].) First period at High School commences time period before the earliest start time recommended by any expert. (See, e.g., 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. 83, 84, 89.) Middle School begins time period too early. (See, e.g., Lufi, Tzischinsky, & Hadar, Delaying School Starting Time by One Hour: Some Effects on Attention Levels in Adolescents (Apr. 2011) 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2, pp. 137-143.)

“[O]n school days adolescents are obtaining less sleep then they are thought to need, and the factor with the biggest impact is school start times. 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.” (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. 426.) “School schedules are forcing them to lose sleep and to perform academically when they are at their worst.” (Hansen, Janssen, Schiff, Zee, & Dubocovich, The Impact of School Daily Schedule on Adolescent Sleep (Jun. 2005) 115 Pediatrics 6, p. 1560, italics added.) “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.” (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst. p. 7.)

Although the evidence in support of delaying start times as benefiting the health, welfare, and academic performance of adolescents is overwhelming and uncontroverted (Troxel, The high cost of sleepy teens (May 23, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Hagenauer, Perryman, Lee, & Carskadon, Adolescent Changes in the Homeostatic and Circadian Regulation of Sleep (2009) 31 Developmental Neuroscience 4, p. 282), school schedules are often determined by politics, budgets, and athletics, rather than the best interests of students. (See Wolfson & Carskadon, A Survey of Factors Influencing High School Start Times (Mar. 2005) 89 Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals Bull. 642, pp. 47-66; Wahlstrom, The Prickly Politics of School Starting Times (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 344-347.) There is no sound reason, however, why any of these concerns should prevail over the well-being of children.

First, any adverse political fallout stemming from a shift to later start times should be diminished by the burgeoning evidence supporting the change. (See Wahlstrom, School Start Times and Sleepy Teens (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 7, pp. 676-677.) Second, a study published in March of 2011 establishes that careful planning permits later start times to co-exist with athletics and extracurricular activities. (Kirby, Maggi, & D’Angiulli, School Start Times and the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Adolescents: A Review and Critical Evaluation of Available Evidence (Mar. 2011) 40 Educational Researcher 2, pp. 56-61.) Third, recent studies anticipate financial gains for schools (and students) when morning classes are delayed, a significant fact in times of economic hardship. (EdwardsDo Schools Begin Too Early? (Summer 2012) 12 Education Next 3; Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, pp. 5-11; 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. 62-81.) Fourth, finding ways to adjust start times is the “job of talented, smart school administrators.” (Taboh, American Teenagers Dangerously Sleep Deprived: Tired teens physically, mentally, emotionally compromised (Sept. 9, 2010) Voice Am. News; see also, Riddile, Time Shift: Is your school jet-lagged? (Mar. 14, 2011) Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals, The Principal Difference.)

Consistent with previous studies, the 2011 National Sleep Foundation poll found only 14% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 report getting the recommended number of hours of sleep (9 or more) on school nights. (2011 Sleep in America Poll: Communications Technology in the Bedroom (Mar. 2011) Nat. Sleep Foundation, p. 40; see also, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data User’s Guide (Jun. 2012) Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, pp. 74, 86; Teens and Sleep Poll a Wake-Up Call, Pediatric Sleep Experts Say (Mar. 2006) Brown Univ.) “Sleep deprivation among adolescents appears to be, in some respects, the norm rather than the exception in contemporary society.” (Roberts, Roberts, & Duong, Sleepless in adolescence: Prospective data on sleep deprivation, health and functioning (2009) 32 J. Adolescence, p. 1055.) “The consequences of this sleep deprivation are severe, impacting adolescents’ physical and mental health, as well as daytime functioning.” (Lund, Reider, Whiting, & Prichard, Sleep Patterns and Predictors of Disturbed Sleep in a Large Population of College Students (Feb. 2010) 46 J. Adolescent Health 2, p. 125.)

In 2010, CDC scientists reported, “Delaying school start times is a demonstrated strategy to promote sufficient sleep among adolescents.” (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.) Dr. Philip Fuller, Medical Director of the Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and Wake Disorders Center, explains: “Inherently, the majority of kids with a later start will get more sleep, which is beneficial to grades as well as being safer.” (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.) “Students at later starting middle and high schools obtain more sleep due to later wake times and, in turn, function more effectively in school.” (Wolfson, Spaulding, Dandrow, & Baroni, Middle School Start Times: The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep for Young Adolescents (Aug. 15, 2007) 5 Behavioral Sleep Medicine 3, p. 205.) “By recognizing the shift in biological rhythms during adolescence and delaying school start times accordingly, classroom experience can be matched to the times when adolescents are most alert and attentive.” (CochFischer, & Dawson, Human Behavior, Learning, and the Developing Brain: Typical Development (Informa Healthcare 2010) pp. 382-383.)

Economists from the University of California and the United States Air Force Academy note that since later start times have a “causal effect” upon improved academic performance in adolescents, delaying morning classes may save schools money. “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.” (CarrellMaghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescentssupra, 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, p. 80.) The benefit is greatest for the bottom half of the distribution, suggesting that delaying start times may be particularly important for schools attempting to reach minimum competency requirements. (Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance (Dec. 2012) 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, p. 978.) Brookings Institute economists “conservatively” estimate that shifting middle and high school start times “from roughly 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.” would increase student achievement by 0.175 standard deviations on average, with effects for disadvantaged students roughly twice as large as advantaged students. (Jacob & RockoffOrganizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Brookings Inst., pp. 10, 21, n. 7.) The economists estimate a corresponding increase in individual student future earnings of approximately $17,500, at little or no cost to schools; i.e., a 9 to 1 benefits to costs ratio when utilizing single-tier busing, the most expensive transportation method available. (Id., pp. 5-11.)

In addition, studies have shown young people between 16 and 29 years of age are “the most likely to be involved in crashes caused by the driver falling asleep.” (Millman, edit., Excessive Sleepiness in Adolescents and Young Adults: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment Strategies (Jun. 2005) 115 Pediatrics 6, p. 1779.) Consistent with a previous study finding 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to be the most treacherous travel time for young drivers (Pack, Pack, Rodgman, Cucchiara, Dinges, & Schwab, Characteristics of Crashes Attributed to the Driver Having Fallen Asleep (Dec. 1995) 27 Accident Analysis & Prevention 6, pp. 769-775), a five year study by the Ohio Department of Transportation released in August of 2011 showed that 7 a.m. is “the most dangerous time for teens driving to school.” (Crashes Involving Teens Triple During Back-to-School (Aug. 23, 2011) Ohio Department of Transportation.) Given that the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, pressures adolescents to sleep until approximately 8 a.m., these outcomes should not be surprising. (Later Start Times for High School Students (Jun. 2002) Univ. Minn.)

A study published in April 2011 associates early start times in Virginia Beach (7:25 a.m., except one school at 7:20 a.m.) with 41% higher crash rates among teen drivers than in adjacent Chesapeake where classes started at 8:40 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. (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.) In 1999, school districts in Lexington, Kentucky delayed start times for high school students county-wide by one hour to 8:30 a.m. Average crash rates for teen drivers in the county in the 2 years after the change in school start time dropped 16.5%, compared with the 2 years prior to the change, whereas teen crash rates for the rest of the state increased 7.8% over the same time period. (Danner & Phillips, Adolescent Sleep, School Start Times, and Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes (Dec. 2008) 4 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 6, pp. 533–535; see also, Storr, Sleepy teen pedestrians more likely to get hit, UAB study says (May 7, 2012) Univ. Al. Birmingham News.) In reviewing the study, John Cline, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, commented, “Given the danger posed to young people from car accidents this is a strong reason in itself to change school start times.” (Cline, Do Later School Start Times Really Help High School Students? (Feb. 27, 2011) Psychology Today.) Automobile accidents represent the leading cause of death among teenagers, accounting for approximately 40% of teen fatalities annually and billions of dollars in attendant costs. (CDC, Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet.)

A CDC study published in August 2011 found an association between health-risk behaviors and diminished weeknight sleep in adolescents, corroborating findings from previous studies. (McKnight-Eily, Eaton, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Relationships between hours of sleep and health-risk behaviors in US adolescent students (Aug. 5, 2011) Preventive Medicine, 1-3; Pasch, Laska, Lytle, & Moe, Adolescent Sleep, Risk Behaviors, and Depressive Symptoms: Are They Linked? (Mar. 2010) 34 Am. J. Health Behavior 2, pp. 237-248; O’Brien & MindellSleep and Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents (2005) 3 Behavioral Sleep Medicine 3, pp. 113-133.) A July 2011 study by University of Nebraska at Omaha criminologists found “preliminary evidence that sleep-deprived adolescents participate in a greater volume of both violent and property crime…. Further, our results indicate that every little bit of sleep may make a difference. That is, sleeping 1 (hour) less (i.e., 7 hours) than the recommended range increased the likelihood of property delinquency, and this risk increased for each hour of sleep missed.” (Clinkinbeard, Simi, Evans, & Anderson, Sleep and Delinquency: Does the Amount of Sleep Matter? (Jul. 2011) J. Youth & Adolescence, p. 926.)

In 2009, following a Rhode Island boarding school’s change in start times from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Dr. Judith Owens found the number of students reporting symptoms of depression declined, confirming outcomes from the Minnesota longitudinal studies (high school start times delayed to 8:30 a.m., Edina, 8:40 a.m., Minneapolis). (Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 7, p. 613; Wahlstrom, Changing Times: Findings From the First Longitudinal Study of Later High School Start Times (Dec. 2002) 86 Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals Bull. 633, pp. 3, 13.) Given the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents, Dr. Owens commented the finding was “particularly noteworthy.” (Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior, supra, 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 7, p. 613; see also, Dahl, The Consequences of Insufficient Sleep for Adolescents: Links Between Sleep and Emotional Regulation (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 354-359.) Serious consideration of suicide is among the many health-risk behaviors associated with restricted school night sleep in the 2011 CDC study. (McKnight-Eily, Eaton, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Relationships between hours of sleep and health-risk behaviors in US adolescent students, supra, Preventive Medicine, pp. 1-3.) Suicide is the third leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents, in recent years accounting for 10% or more of all teen fatalities. (CDC Nat. Vital Statistics System, Mortality Tables.) Recent data put the suicide rate in the general population at 2.7%. (Miniño, Xu, & Kochanek, Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008 (Dec. 9, 2010) 59 Nat. Vital Statistics Rep. 2.)

The adolescent sleep pattern runs from about 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. and is “rather fixed.” (Later Start Times for High School Students, supra, Univ. Minn.) As the National Sleep Foundation points out, only by carefully controlling light exposure, including wearing eyeshades to exclude evening light, have scientists been successful in modifying adolescent circadian rhythms. (Backgrounder: Later School Start Times (2011) Nat. Sleep Foundation.) Waking an adolescent at 7 a.m. is the “equivalent” of waking an adult at 4 a.m. (CarrellMaghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescentssupra, 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, p. 64.) Joining other Harvard educators in endorsing later start times (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, pp. 382-383), Professor of Sleep Medicine Susan Redline advises that 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. classes begin too early for adolescent students to obtain sufficient sleep and serve to interrupt REM sleep. (Powell, Bleary America needs some shut-eye: Forum points to schools, hospitals, factories as ripe for sleep reform (Mar. 8, 2012) Harvard Science.) Brown University’s Mary Carskadon refers to early school start times as “just abusive.” (Carpenter, Sleep deprivation may be undermining teen health (Oct. 2001) 32 Am. Psychological Assn. Monitor 9.)

In 2009, scientists writing in the journal Developmental Neuroscience succinctly stated the uniformly held position of sleep experts on school start times: “For policy makers, teachers and parents, these results provide a clear mandate. The effects of sleep deprivation on grades, car accident risk, and mood are indisputable. A number of school districts have moved middle and high school start times later with the goal of decreasing teenage sleep deprivation. We support this approach, as results indicate that later school start times lead to decreased truancy and drop-out rates.” (Hagenauer, Perryman, Lee, & Carskadon, Adolescent Changes in the Homeostatic and Circadian Regulation of Sleep, supra, 31 Developmental Neuroscience 4, p. 282.)  

School leaders have a unique capacity to shape the lives of students. (See, Park, Falling Asleep in Class? Blame Biology (Dec. 15, 2008) CNN.) The time of day when school begins is different than other issues in education — it has the potential to implicate adolescent morbidity and mortality. (Sleep Experts Concerned About St. Paul Start Time Change (Jun. 3, 2011) CBS; Vorona, Szklo-Coxe, Wu, Dubik, Zhao, & Ware, Dissimilar Teen Crash Rates in Two Neighboring Southeastern Virginia Cities with Different High School Start Times, supra, 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 7, pp. 145-151.) Physicians have been urging school administrators to eliminate early starting hours for teenagers since at least 1994. (Minn. Med. Assn. Letter to Superintendent Dragseth (Apr. 4, 1994) Edina Pub. Schools.) It’s long past time to start listening.

Yours truly,

Your Name/Title/Affiliation

early-school-commute -- chris waits -- flickr

Recent & Selected Literature, Audio/Video, etc.

May 2, 2011 § 3 Comments

ARTICLES

Press Release, Shifting School Start Times Could Contribute $83 Billion to U.S. Economy Within a Decade (Aug. 30, 2017) Rand Corp.

Figlio, Start High School Later for Better Academic Outcomes (May 25, 2017) Brookings Inst.

Barnum, One way to boost test scores? Make sure students get morning sunshine, new research shows (May 11, 2017) Chalkbeat.

AASM position: Delaying middle school, high school start times is beneficial to students (Apr. 14, 2017) Am. Academy of Sleep Med.

Univ. Penn., Tired teens 4.5 times more likely to commit crimes as adults (Feb. 23, 2017) Science Daily.

Crist, Later high school start times linked to higher attendance, graduation rates (Feb. 10, 2017) Reuters.

Staff, We need to talk about school start times (Jan. 23, 2017) McGill Univ. Newsroom.

Bashant, Later Start Times for High Schoolers: Benefits, Challenges and Creative Solutions (Jan. 18, 2017) Univ. Albany School of Ed., Center for School Improvement.

Wahlstrom, Later start time for teens improves grades, mood, and safety (Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017) 98 Phi Delta Kappan 4, pp. 8-14.

Press release, Review suggests that teens benefit from later high school start times (Dec. 14, 2016) Am. Academy Sleep Med.

Am. Med. Assn. (Jul. 14, 2016) AMA Supports Delayed School Start Times to Improve Adolescent Wellness; see also, Am. Med. Assn. House of Delegates, Delaying School Start Time To Prevent Adolescent Sleep Deprivation (2016) Rep. Reference Comm. D, pp. 9-10.

Richter, Among teens, sleep deprivation an epidemic (Oct. 8, 2015) Stanford Medicine News Center.

Press Release, Most US middle and high schools start the school day too early (Aug. 6, 2015) CDC [summarizes study, infra).

Krueger, High School Start Times and Healthy Sleep (Mar. 3, 2015) Network for Public Health Law.

Possidente, School start times, sleep and health (Feb. 26, 2015) The Record.

Singh, Teens Who Skimp On Sleep Now Have More Drinking Problems Later (Jan. 16, 2015) NPR.

Mozes, Almost All U.S. Teens Are Sleep Deprived, Study Finds: Too-early school start times are one big factor, experts say (Dec. 11, 2014) HealthDay [study, infra].

News@ODU, Study: Teen Drivers and Early High School Start Times a Concerning Combination (Nov. 2014) Old Dominion Univ.

Lamberg, School Starts Too Early for Teens, Pediatricians Agree (Oct. 3, 2014) 49 Psychiatric News 19, pp. 22, 27.

Lamberg, Novel Suicide-Prevention Treatment Targets Poor Sleep (Oct. 3, 2014) 49 Psychiatric News 19, p. 23.

Press Release, Let Them Sleep: AAP Recommends Delaying Start Times of Middle and High Schools to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation (Aug. 25, 2014) Am. Academy of Pediatrics [summarizes Am. Academy of Pediatrics School Start Times for Adolescents Policy Statement, infra, listed with “Studies”]; Kennedy, Sounding alarm on need for later school start times (Aug. 25, 2014) 35 AAP News 1 [accord].

Press Release, Early Elementary School Start Times Tougher on Economically Advantaged Children, Study Finds (Jun. 17, 2014) Am. Psychological Assn. [summarizes study, infra].

Kelley & Lee, Later School Start Times in Adolescence: Time for Change (May 2014) Ed. Commission of the States; see also, Press Release, Early school start times cause chronic sleep deprivation, British researcher says, urging U.S. policymakers to consider changes (May 6, 2014) Ed. Commission of the States.

Press Release, Penn Medicine Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons (Mar. 18, 2014) Penn Medicine.

Hoffman, To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In (Mar. 13, 2014) N.Y. Times.

Fisher, Student Safety Becomes Part of Debate on Later School Start Times (Dec. 10, 2013) School Transportation News.

Neighmond, Teens Who Feel Supported At Home And School Sleep Better (Dec. 6, 2013) Capital Pub. Radio [includes audio].

Post, Study: Exhausted teens benefit from later morning school starts (Dec. 6, 2013) MPR News [includes audio].

Anwar, Teen night owls likely to perform worse academically, emotionally (Nov. 10, 2013) UC Berkeley News Center.

Wrede & Kapur, The myth of the lazy teen — why the school day should start later (Oct. 3, 2013) Seattle Times.

Wahlstrom, A long winter’s nap (Winter 2013) Univ. Minn.

Wahlstrom, Teenagers: The New Endangered Species (Sept. 27, 2013) Univ. Minn., College of Education & Human Development, Vision 2020 Blog.

Foster, The Science of Sleepy Teenagers (Apr. 27, 2013) Slate; Foster, Why teenagers really do need an extra hour in bed (Apr. 22, 2013) New Scientist [UCL Academy begins at 10 a.m., discussed here, under “England”].

Press Release, Study: Homeschool Students Sleep Better (Mar. 6, 2013) Nat. Jewish Health [includes video].

Carskadon, For better student health, start school later (Sept. 5, 2012) Brown Univ.

Wahlstrom, Later High School Start Times Improve Student Learning and Health (Aug. 24, 2012) Univ. Minn., College of Education & Human Development, Vision 2020 Blog.

EdwardsDo Schools Begin Too Early? (Summer 2012) 12 Education Next 3 [summarizing study, infra].

Strasburger, School Daze: Why are Teachers and Schools Missing the Boat on Media? (Jun. 2012) 59 Pediatric Clinics N. Am. 3, 705-712.

Troxel, The high cost of sleepy teens (May 23, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Storr, Sleepy teen pedestrians more likely to get hit, UAB study says (May 7, 2012) Univ. Ala. Birmingham News [summarizing study, infra].

Abeles & Baird, Sleep deprivation and teens: ‘Walking zombies’ (Mar. 10, 2012) Wash. Post.

Powell, Bleary America needs some shut-eye: Forum points to schools, hospitals, factories as ripe for sleep reform (Mar. 8, 2012) Harvard Science; FIGHTING THE CLOCK: How America’s Sleep Deficit is Damaging Longterm Health (Mar. 6, 2012) Briefing, Harvard School of Public Health.

Shute, How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? Not Such A Mystery After All (Feb. 14, 2012) Nat. Pub. Radio [Dr. Owens criticizes study by Matricciani, et al., infra].

Deitz, Children’s Sleep: Time For A Wake-Up Call (Dec. 11, 2011) Huffpost Healthy Living.

Christakis & ChristakisWhy Are We Depriving Our Teens of Sleep? (Nov. 18, 2011) Time.

Venkateshiah, Teenagers and Sleep (Nov. 10, 2011) Am. College Chest Physicians, Chest Physician Art.

Insufficient sleep among high school students associated with a variety of health-risk behaviors (Sept. 26, 2011) CDC Online Newsroom.

Crash rates may be higher for teen drivers who start school earlier (Apr. 12, 2011) Am. Academy Sleep Med.

Quan, Podcast Transcript (Apr. 2011) 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2.

School Start Time and Sleep (2011) Nat. Sleep Foundation.

Wahlstrom, School Start Times and Sleepy Teens (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 7, pp. 676-677.

Willis, How Students’ Sleepy Brains Fail Them (Sum. 2009) Kappa Delta Pi Record, pp. 158-162.

School Daze: A Wake Up Call (2008) Am. Lung Assoc. of New England, Healthy Air Matters, p. 4.

O’Malley and 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. 79-94.

Bronson, Snooze or Lose (Oct. 7, 2007) N.Y. Mag.

Later Start Times for High School Students (Jun. 2002) Univ. Minn.

Dornbusch, Sleep and Adolescence: A Social Psychologist’s Perspective, publish. in, Adolescent Sleep Patterns, Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences (Carskadon, edit., Cambridge Univ. Press 2002) pp. 1-3.

Dahl, The Consequences of Insufficient Sleep for Adolescents: Links Between Sleep and Emotional Regulation (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 354-359.

Wahlstrom, The Prickly Politics of School Starting Times (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 344-347.

AUDIO 

Air Talk, Should schools push back start times to accommodate sleepy teens? (Aug. 27, 2014) KPCC [guest Judith Owens, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Associate Professor of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital].

Staff, The push for later school start times (Aug. 18, 2014) MPR News [guests: CAREI Director Kyla Wahlstrom, East Ridge High School Principal Aaron Harper].

A Back-To-School Conversation About Education (Sept. 4, 2013) The Diane Rehm Show [Arne Duncan, et al., discuss common core standards, later school start times and President Obama’s college rating plan].

Long Beach middle schools to start an hour later (Mar. 27, 2013) KPCC: Airtalk [guest, CAREI Director Kyla Wahlstrom].

Parenting on the Edge: schools adjust to teens who like to stay up late and sleep in (Aug. 15, 2011) KPCC, The Madeline Brand Show [interview with John Cline, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine].

The science of sleep and circadian rhythms (Jul. 21, 2011) Science Weekly Podcast (Jul. 21, 2011) [interview with Professor Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., C.B.E., Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Oxford Univ.].

Sleep Experts Concerned About St. Paul Start Time Change (Jun. 3, 2011) CBS [interview with Conrad Iber, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Sleep Medicine Director of the Minnesota Medical Center].

Taboh, American Teenagers Dangerously Sleep Deprived: Tired teens physically, mentally, emotionally compromised (Sept. 9, 2010) Voice Am. News [brief interviews with sleep expert, Michael Breus, Ph.D., and St. George’s School headmaster, Eric Peterson, J.D.].

Head urges lie-ins for teenagers (Mar. 9, 2009) BBC News [includes hyperlink to brief interview with Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., C.B.E., Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Oxford Univ.].

POWERPOINT/SLIDESHOW PRESENTATIONS

Dohnt, Sleep Deprived Teens–A Growing Trend (2013) Somnia Sleep Services [pdf format].

Owens, Delaying School Start Times and the Health of Adolescents (Feb. 11, 2013) Montgomery Schools, Bell Times Working Group [pdf format].

Appleman, Stavitsky, & Au, Impact of School Start Time Changes on Sleep Patterns in Elementary through High School Age Students (Mar. 2012) Nat. Sleep Foundation, Sleep, Health & Safety Conf., Wash. D.C.

WahlstromChanging School Start Times: Findings and Issues (2011) Presented to N.E. Sleep Society.

SimeraTeenage Sleep Research (Jan. 15, 2011) LinkedIn; see also, Portagecountyschoolstarttimes [Ms. Simera‘s website supporting later start times].

OwensSleepiness in the Classroom and How to Address It (Mar. 2010) Presented to N.E. Sleep Society.

Dahl, Adolescent Brain Development: A Framework for Understanding Unique Vulnerabilities and Opportunities.

STUDIES

old booksHafner, Stepanek, & Troxel, Later school start times in the U.S.: An economic analysis (Aug. 30, 2017) Rand Corp.

Heissel, Levy, & Adam, Stress, Sleep, and Performance on Standardized Tests: Understudied Pathways to the Achievement Gap (Jul.-Sept. 2017) 3 Am. Educational Research Assoc. 3, pp. 1-17.

Heissel & Norris, in press, Rise and Shine: The Effect of School Start Times on Academic Performance from Childhood through Puberty (Apr. 19, 2017) J. Human Resources.

Watson, Martin, Wise, Carden, Kirsch, Kristo, Malhotra, Olson, Ramar, Rosen, Rowley, Weaver, & Chervin, Delaying Middle School and High School Start Times Promotes Student Health and Performance: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement (2017) 13 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 4, pp. 623–625.

Keller, Gilbert, Haak, Bi, & Smith, Earlier school start times are associated with higher rates of behavioral problems in elementary schools (Feb. 23, 2017) Sleep Health, pp. 1-6.

Lewin, Wang, Chen, Skora, Hoehn, Baylor, & Wang, Variable School Start Times and Middle School Student’s Sleep Health and Academic Performance (2017) 61 J. Adolescent Health 2, pp. 205-211.

McKeever & Clark, Delayed high school start times later than 8:30 am and impact on graduation rates and attendance rates (Feb. 1, 2017) Sleep Health.

Raine & Venables, Adolescent daytime sleepiness as a risk factor for adult crime (Jan. 2017) J. Child Psychology & Psychiatry.

Minges & Redeker, Delayed school start times and adolescent sleep: A systematic review of the experimental evidence (2016) 28 Sleep Med. Rev., pp. 82-91.

Barnes, Davis, Mancini, Ruffin, Simpson, & Casazza, Setting adolescents up for success: promoting a policy to delay high school start times (Jul. 2016) 86 J. School Health 7, pp. 552-557.

Paruthi, Brooks, D’Ambrosio, Hall, Kotagal, Lloyd, Malow, Maski, Nichols, Quan, Rosen, Troester, & Wise, Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (Jun. 2016) 12 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 6, pp. 785-786.

Chaput, Gray, Poitras, Carson, Gruber, Olds, Weiss, Gorber, Kho, Sampson, Belanger, Eryuzlu, Callender, & Tremblay, Systematic review of the relationships between sleep duration and health indicators in school-aged children and youth (Jun. 16, 2016) 41 Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 6, pp. S266-S282.

Wheaton, Chapman, & Croft, School Start Times, Sleep, Behavioral, Health, and Academic Outcomes: A Review of the Literature (May 2016) 86 J. School Health 5, pp. 363-381.

Wheaton, Olsen, Miller, & Croft, Sleep Duration and Injury-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 2007–2013 (Apr. 8, 2016) 65 Morbity & Mortality Weekly Rep., pp. 337–341.

Minges & Redeker, Delayed school start times and adolescent sleep: A systematic review of the experimental evidence (2016) 28 Sleep Med. Rev., pp. 82-91.

Maghakian, The educational effects of school start times (Aug. 2015) 181 IZA World of Labor.

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, pp. 809-813 [summarized in article, supra].

Appleman, Gilbert, & Au, School start time changes and sleep patterns in elementary school students (Jun. 2015) 1 Sleep Health 2, pp. 109-114.

Keyes, Maslowsky, Hamilton, & Schulenberg, The Great Sleep Recession: Changes in Sleep Duration Among US Adolescents, 1991–2012 (Mar. 2015) 135 Pediatrics 3, pp. 1-9.

Hirshkowitz, Whiton, Albert, Alessi, Bruni, DonCarlos, Hazen, Herman, Katz, Kheirandish-Gozal, Neubauer, O’Donnell, Ohayon, Peever, Rawding, Sachdeva, Setters, Vitiello, Ware, & Hillard, National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary (Mar. 2015) 1 Sleep Health 1, pp. 40-43.

Hysing, Haugland, Stormark, Bøe, & Siversten, Sleep and school attendance in adolescence: Results from a large population-based study (2015) 43 Scandinavian J. Public Health pp. 2-9.

Keller, Smith, Gilbert, Bi, Haak, & Buckhalt, Earlier School Start Times as a Risk Factor for Poor School Performance: An Examination of Public Elementary Schools in the Commonwealth of Kentucky (2015) 107 J. Educational Psychology 1, pp. 236-245.

Basch, Basch, Ruggles, & Rajan, Prevalence of Sleep Duration on an Average School Night Among 4 Nationally Representative Successive Samples of American High School Students, 2007–2013 (Dec. 11, 2014) Preventing Chronic Disease.

Crowley, LeBourgeois, Reen, Acebo, Tarokh, Seifer, Barker, & Carskadon, A Longitudinal Assessment of Sleep Timing, Circadian Phase, and Phase Angle of Entrainment across Human Adolescence (Nov. 7, 2014) 9 Plos One 11, e112199.

Winsler, Deutsch, Vorona, Payne, & Szklo-Coxe, Sleepless in Fairfax: The Difference One More Hour of Sleep Can Make for Teen Hopelessness, Suicidal Ideation, and Substance Use (Sept. 2014) 44 J. Youth Adolescence 2, pp. 362-378.

Titova, Hogenkamp, Jacobsson, Feldman, Schiöth, & Benedict, in press, Associations of self-reported sleep disturbance and duration with academic failure in community-dwelling Swedish adolescents: Sleep and academic performance at school (2014) Sleep, pp. 1-20.

Adolescent Sleep Working Group, Committee on Adolescence, & Council on School Health, Policy Statement, School Start Times for Adolescents (Sept. 25, 2014) 134 Pediatrics 3, pp. 642-649.

Kelley, Lockley, Foster, & Kelley, Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: ‘let teens sleep, start school later’ (Aug. 1, 2014) Learning, Media and Technology, pp. 1-17.

Wahlstrom, Dretzke, Gordon, Peterson, Edwards, & Gdula, Examining the Impact of Later School Start Times on the Health and Academic Performance of High School Students: A Multi-Site Study (Feb. 2014) CAREI, Univ. Minn., pp. 1-72.

Milewski, Skaggs, Bishop, Pace, Ibrahim, Wren, & Barzdukas, Chronic Lack of Sleep is Associated With Increased Sports Injuries in Adolescent Athletes (Mar. 2014) 34 J. Pediatric Orthopaedics 2, pp. 129-133.

Boergers, Gable, & Owens, Later School Start Time Is Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents (Jan. 2014) 35 J. Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 1, pp. 11-17.

Maume, Social Ties and Adolescent Sleep Disruption (2013) 54 J. Health & Social Behavior, pp. 498-515.

Orzech, Acebo, Seifer, Barker, & Carskadon, Sleep patterns are associated with common illness in adolescents (2013) J. Sleep Research, pp. 1-10.

Asarnow, McGlinchey, & Harvey, in press, The Effects of Bedtime and Sleep Duration on Academic and Emotional Outcomes in a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents (2013) J. Adolescent Health, pp. 1-7.

Davis, Avis, & Schwebel, in press, The Effects of Acute Sleep Restriction on Adolescents’ Pedestrian Safety in a Virtual Environment (2013) J. Adolescent Health, pp. 1-6.

Martiniuk, Senserrick, Lo, Williamson, Du, Grunstein, Woodward, Glozier, Stevenson, Norton, & Ivers, Sleep-Deprived Young Drivers and the Risk for Crash: The DRIVE Prospective Cohort Study (2013) 167 J. Am. Med. Assn. Pediatrics 7, pp. 647-655.

Díaz-Morales & Escribano, Predicting school achievement: The role of inductive reasoning, sleep length and morningness–eveningness (2013) Personality and Individual Differences.

2013 Sleep in America Poll, Exercise and Sleep: Summary of Findings (Feb. 20, 2013) Nat. Sleep Foundation.

Borlase, Gander, & Gibson, Effects of school start times and technology use on teenagers’ sleep: 1999–2008 (Jan. 2013) 11 Sleep and Biological Rhythms 1, pp. 46–54.

Bradley & Green, Do Health and Education Agencies in the United States Share Responsibility for Academic Achievement and Health? A Review of 25 Years of Evidence About the Relationship of Adolescents’ Academic Achievement and Health Behaviors (2013) 52 J. Adolescent Health, pp. 523-532.

Perkinson-Gloor, Lemola, & Grob, in press, Sleep duration, positive attitude toward life, and academic achievement: The role of daytime tiredness, behavioral persistence, and school start times (Jan. 2013) J. Adolescence, pp. 1-8.

Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance (Dec. 2012) 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, pp. 970-983 [summarized in articlesupra].

Leger, Beck, Richard, & Godeau, Total Sleep Time Severely Drops during Adolescence (2012) 7 Plos One 10, e45204.

Short, Gradisar, Lack, Wright, Dewald, Wolfson, & Carskadon, A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sleep Duration Between U.S. and Australian Adolescents: The Effect of School Start Time, Parent-Set Bedtimes, and Extracurricular Load (2012) Health, Education, & Behavior. 

Matthews, Dahl, Owens, Lee, & Hall, Sleep Duration and Insulin Resistance in Healthy Black and White Adolescents (2012) 35 Sleep 10, pp. 1353-1358.

Narang, Manlhiot, Davies-Shaw, Gibson, Chahal, Stearne, Fisher, Dobbin, & McCrindle, Sleep disturbance and cardiovascular risk in adolescents (Oct. 1, 2012) Canadian Medical Assn. J.

Gillen-O’Neel, Huynh, & Fuligini, To Study or to Sleep? The Academic Costs of Extra Studying at the Expense of Sleep (2012) 84 Child Development 1, pp. 133-142.

Astill, Van der Heijden, Van IJzendoorn, & Van Someren, Sleep, Cognition, and Behavioral Problems in School-Age Children: A Century of Research Meta-Analyzed (2012) 138 Psychological Bull. 6, pp. 1109 –1138.

Roenneberg, Allebrandt, Merrow, & Vetter, in press, Social Jet Lag and Obesity (May 22, 2012) Current Biology 22, pp. 1-5.

Vedaa, Saxvig, Wilhelmsen-Langeland, Bjorvatn, & PallesenSchool start time, sleepiness and functioning in Norwegian adolescents (Feb. 2012) Scandinavian J. Educational Research, pp. 55-67.   

MatriccianiOldsBlundenRigney, & WilliamsNever Enough Sleep: A Brief History of Sleep Recommendations for Children (Feb. 13, 2012) 129 Pediatrics 3, pp. 548-556; see also, Replies (Feb. 2012) ) Pediatrics, Letters to the Editor [Judith Owens, et al.].

Taki, Hashizume, Thyreau, Sassa, Takeuchi, Wu, Kotozaki, Nouchi, Asano, Asano, Fukuda, & Kawashima, Sleep duration during weekdays affects hippocampal gray matter volume in healthy children (Dec. 14, 2011) Neurolmage.

Preckel, Lipnevich, Boehme, Brandner, Georgi, Könen, Mursin, & Roberts, Morningness-eveningness and educational outcomes: the lark has an advantage over the owl at high school (2011) British J. Educational Psychology, pp. 1-21.

Ming, Koransky, Kang, Buchman, Sarris, & WagnerSleep Insufficiency, Sleep Health Problems and Performance in High School Students (Oct. 20, 2011) 2011 Clinical Med. Insights: Circulatory, Respiratory & Pulmonary Med. 5, pp. 71-79.

Jacob & RockoffOrganizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst.

Eaton, McKnight-Eily, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Relationships between hours of sleep and health-risk behaviors in US adolescent students (Aug. 5, 2011) Preventive Med., pp. 1-3.

CarrellMaghakian, & WestA’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents (Aug. 2011) 3 Am. Economic Journal: Economic Policy 3, pp. 62-81.

Clinkinbeard, Simi, Evans, & AndersonSleep and Delinquency: Does the Amount of Sleep Matter? (Jul. 2011) J. Youth & Adolescence, pp. 1-3.

Short, Gradisar, Wright, Lack, Dohnt, & Carskadon, Time for Bed: Parent-Set Bedtimes Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents (Jun. 2011) 34 Sleep 10, pp. 797-800.

Lufi, Tzischinsky, & HadarDelaying School Starting Time by One Hour: Some Effects on Attention Levels in Adolescents (Apr. 2011) 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2, 137-143.

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.

Kirby, Maggi, & D’Angiulli, School Start Times and the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Adolescents: A Review and Critical Evaluation of Available Evidence (Mar. 2011) 40 Educational Researcher 2, pp. 56-61.

2011 Sleep in America Poll: Communications Technology in the Bedroom (Mar. 2011) Nat. Sleep Foundation.

Sofer-Dudek, Sadeh, Dahl, Rosenblat-Stein, Poor Sleep Quality Predicts Deficient Emotion Information Processing over Time in Early Adolescence (2011) 34 Sleep 11, pp. 1499-1508.

Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 7, pp. 608-614.

MednickChristakis, & FowlerThe Spread of Sleep Loss Influences Drug Use in Adolescent Social Networks (Mar. 2010) 5 Plos One 3, e9775.  

Pasch, Laska, Lytle, & Moe, Adolescent Sleep, Risk Behaviors, and Depressive Symptoms: Are They Linked? (Mar. 2010) 34 Am. J. Health Behavior 2, pp. 237-248. 

Pizza, Contardi, Antognini, Zagoraiou, Borrotti, Mostacci, Mondini, & Cirignotta, Sleep Quality and Motor Vehicle Crashes in Adolescents (Feb. 15, 2010) 6 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 1, pp. 41-45.

Gangwisch, Babiss, Malaspina, Turner, Zammit, & Posner, Earlier Parental Set Bedtimes as a Protective Factor Against Depression and Suicidal Ideation (Jan. 1, 2010) 33 Sleep 1, pp. 97-106.

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, pp. 399-401.

Dewald, Meijer, Oort, Kerkhof, & Bögels, The influence of sleep quality, sleep duration and sleepiness on school performance in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review (2010) Sleep Med. Rev. 14, pp. 179–189.

Figueiro & ReaLack of short-wavelength light during the school day delays dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) in middle school students (2010) 31 NeuroEndocrinology Letters 1.

Calamaro, Mason, & RatcliffeAdolescents Living the 24/7 Lifestyle: Effects of Caffeine and Technology on Sleep Duration and Daytime Functioning (Jun. 2009) 123 Pediatrics 6, pp. e1005-e1010.

KnutsonLauderdaleSociodemographic and behavioral predictors of bed time and wake time among U.S. adolescents aged 15-17 years (Mar. 2009) 154 J. Pediatrics 3, pp. 426–430.

Hagenauer, Perryman, Lee, & CarskadonAdolescent Changes in the Homeostatic and Circadian Regulation of Sleep (Jun. 2009) 31 Developmental Neuroscience 4, pp. 276-284.

Alfano, Zakem, Costa, Taylor, & WeemsSleep Problems and their Relation to Cognitive Factors, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents (2009) 26 Depression & Anxiety, pp. 503-512.

Noland, Price, Dake, & Telljohann, Adolescents’ Sleep Behaviors and Perceptions of Sleep (2009) 79 J. School Health 5, pp. 224-230.

Wolfson, Spaulding, Dandrow, & Baroni, Middle School Start Times: The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep for Young Adolescents (Aug. 15, 2007) 5 Behavioral Sleep Med. 3, pp. 194-209.

Liu & Buysse, Sleep and youth suicidal behavior: a neglected field (May 2006) 19 Current Opn. Psychiatry 3, pp. 288-293.

Wittmann, Dinnich, Merrow, Roenneberg, Social Jetlag: Misalignment of Biological and Social Time (2006) 23 Chronobiology Internat. 1&2, pp. 497–509.

Millman, edit., Excessive Sleepiness in Adolescents and Young Adults: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment Strategies (Jun. 2005) 115 Pediatrics 6, pp. 1774-1786.

Hansen, Janssen, Schiff, Zee, & Dubocovich, The Impact of Daily Schedule on Adolescent Sleep (Jun. 2005) 115 Pediatrics 6, pp. 1555-1561.

O’Brien & Mindell, Sleep and Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents (2005) 3 Behavioral Sleep Med. 3, pp. 113-133.

Walker & Stickgold, It’s Practice, with Sleep, that Makes Perfect: Implications of Sleep-Dependent Learning and Plasticity for Skill Performance (2005) 24 Clinical Sports Med., pp. 301-317.

Fredriksen, Rhodes, Reddy, & Way, Sleepless in Chicago: Tracking the Effects of Adolescent Sleep Loss During the Middle School Years (Jan./Feb. 2004) 75 Child Development 1, pp. 84–95.

Klein, Planning Middle School Schedules for Improved Attention and Achievement (Sept. 2004) 48 Scandinavian J. Educational Research 4, pp. 441-450.

Laberge, Petit, Simard, Vitaro, Tremblay, & Montplaisi, Development of Sleep Patterns in Early Adolescence (2001) 10 J. Sleep Research, pp. 59-66.

VIDEOS 

Wendy Troxel (Nov. 2016) TED Talk, Why school should start later for teens

Univ. of Oxford, Nuffield Dept. Clin. Neurosciences, Medical Sciences Div. (Nov. 11, 2015) The Teensleep Study – Why It Matters; The Teensleep Study – What It Involves.

Oxford Sparks (2015) What Makes You Tick: Circadian Rhythms [animated].

Davis, Parents conflicted about later school start times for teens (Feb. 16, 2015) Univ. Michigan, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Later School Start Times with Dr Christopher-James Harvey and Guy Holloway (Oct. 9, 2014) BBC World News.

Iber (Oct. 2013) Sleep & Biology of the Human Brain [Presentation Handout].

Carskadon (Oct. 2013) Biology of Adolescent Sleep [Presentation Handout].

Payne (Oct. 2013) Sleep and Memory [Presentation Handout].

Harvey (Oct. 2013) Adolescent Depression & Sleep [Presentation Handout ].

Wolfson (Oct. 2013) Sleep, Caffeine Use & Social Media[Presentation Handout; Additional Handout].

Beebe (Oct. 2013) Adolescent Obesity, Health & Sleep [Presentation Handout].

Wahlstrom (Oct. 2013) School Start Times [Presentation Handout].

Dragseth & Zipf (Oct. 2013) Implementing Later Start Times: Getting It Done [Presentation Handout].

Foster, Why do we sleep? (Jun. 2013) TED Talks.

Daisley, Do early school start times still make sense? (Sept. 19, 2012) CBS Sunday Morning.

Kryger, Setting the clock for school (Aug. 15, 2012) Yale Video.

Daniel Wetter, What We’re Watching: Some Communities Reluctant to Start School Later (Jun. 21, 2012) Education Next.

Social Jetlag and its Consequences (May 10, 2012) YouTube [narrated by Professor Till Roenneberg].

BBC, Study finds that teenagers are not getting enough sleep (Apr. 18, 2012) Health News.

CzeislerLeapeRedline, & HuFIGHTING THE CLOCK: How America’s Sleep Deficit is Damaging Longterm Health (Mar. 6, 2012) The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health Presentation [Professors CzeislerRedline, and Hu discuss school start times].

How much homework is too much? (Mar. 1, 2011) CBS News [Couric interview with Abeles].

Howell, How Can Teenagers Get Enough Sleep? (Aug. 31, 2010) Univ. Minn.

Sleep-Deprived Teens’ Disturbing Thoughts (Jan. 10, 2010) CBS News.

Bailey Mohr, What’s Your Issue? Need More Sleep! (Apr. 13, 2010) SchoolTube.com [Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Saint Louis, MO].

Matt’s Story: Rethinking School Start Times (2007) Harvard Univ., Healthy Sleep [includes brief interview with Richard Ferber, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Senior Associate in Neurology, Department of Neurology, Children’s Hospital, Boston].

From Z’zzz’s to A’s (Jan. 31, 2002) Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain [includes interview with Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine, Director of Chronobiology and Sleep Research at Bradley Hospital].

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