Adolescent Sleep, Health, and School Start Times:      The National Conference

 Videos Now Available

This video package is a one-stop, self-contained, tour de force presented by internationally-recognized  experts on an issue of utmost importance to the physical, mental and emotional health and well being of our adolescents. In 13 presentations, and over 5 hours of video, leading experts will explain each aspect of this topic to you in layman’s terms. 

Watch our brief conference overview...


If you could not attend the conference in Washington DC, this is your chance to see the presentations given by experts from leading academic and medical organizations who came together for 2 days to explain this issue clearly to the public so it could know what is at stake.  The videos offer a never-before opportunity to "bring these experts to your town" through public video screenings in your school district on all the topics or the topics of special interest to your community.

In my six years as a Trustee, this was by far the best conference I’ve attended. The breadth of the presentations was excellent and truly provided the the overview I needed.”
— School Board Member

Conference Speakers: Internationally-recognized sleep experts, school leaders and advisors who have successfully implemented healthy school start times.

Conference Attendees:  Attendees came from 33 U.S. states, plus Canada, Singapore, and Australia. 

Conference Sponsors:  The following organizations sponsored the conference:

  • The Yale School of Medicine – Department of Pediatrics

  • The Yale School of Medicine - Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

  • The RAND Corporation

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Start School Later Inc

This video package brings together 13 presentations by leading experts who will explain the issues clearly and bring you fully up-to-speed on the topic.

Videos from Conference Sessions -Scroll to see the 13 presentations

An Overview of the Biology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms - Daniel J. Buysse, MD

Developmental Changes to Sleep Biology Affect Adolescent Sleep - Mary Carskadon, PhD


The body’s circadian rhythm is a 24-hour biological process that evolved in the brain to adapt to life on a rotating planet. Dr. Buysse describes the brain’s superchiasmatic nucleus as the body’s “master clock.” Continue reading ...


Dr. Carskadon discusses the enormous structural changes in the brain that occur during adolescence and proceeds to explain the developmental changes that occur in the circadian timing system and the homeostatic system that regulate sleep . Continue reading ...

“The presenters were top professionals in their fields. Solid research. Clear, focused and engaging presentations. Thank you!
— Rep. Carol Spackman Moss - Utah House of Representatives

Deficient Sleep in Teens: The Impact on Mood and Risky Behavior

Wendy Troxel, PhD

Deficient Sleep in Teens: The Impact on Driver Safety

Brian C. Tefft


Brian Tefft presents the results of research conducted by the American Automobile Association and other safety organizations related to sleep and teen drivers. Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teens aged 16 to 20 years old. Continue reading ...


In her presentation Dr. Troxel discusses “The Adolescent Paradox,” a period in which adolescents experience a peak stage in physical and cognitive health, yet one characterized by a 200% increase in morbidity and mortality. Continue reading ...

Phenomenally well crafted and delivered presentations. Comprehensive science review by experts in the field.
— Tracy Orleans PhD - Senior Scientist, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Deficient Sleep in Teens: The Impact on Health

Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD


Dr. Czeisler discusses why the body needs sleep and presents a comprehensive overview of the impact of deficient sleep on the health.   Continue reading ...

Deficient Sleep in Teens: The Impact on Cognition and Brain Function

Dean Beebe, PhD


Dr. Beebe reports results of experimental results investigating the relationship between restricted sleep and cognitive performance, including sustained attention, working memory and executive functions. Continue reading ...

Fabulous presenters and accessible research presentations!
— School Board Member

Deficient Sleep in Teens:  The Impact on School Performance

Amy Wolfson, PhD


Dr. Wolfson reviews literature on the relationships linking school start times, sleep, and academic performance. Continue reading ...

Does Changing School Start Times Work?

Kyla Wahlstrom, PhD


Wahlstom summarizes her research, conducted over 26 years, on the impact of changing school start times. Continue reading ...

I now have all the resources I need to move forward and implement this change thanks to this conference.
— School District Superintendent

The Economic Impact of Later School Start Times

Marco Hafner, MSc, MPhil

National Surveillance Data on Adolescent Sleep and School Start Times

Anne Wheaton, PhD


Dr. Hafner begins by reporting the results of published econometric research he conducted at The RAND Corporation that estimates the economic impact of insufficient sleep on economic output in 5 developed countries through the channels of reduced productivity, early mortality, and sub-optimal school performance prior to joining the labor force. Continue reading ...

Dr. Wheaton discusses the CDS’s contribution to the national conversation on adolescent sleep.  CDC’s Sleep Health Program goals are to increase public awareness of the importance of healthy sleep, promote healthy sleep policies, improve content of sleep-related national surveillance survey data at the state and national levels. Continue reading ...

Having all the experts from scientists, physicians, transportation, educators etc. in one room was invaluable.
— School Board Member

Changing School Start Times:  Leadership at the District and State Levels

Kenneth Dragseth, PhD
Anthony J. Portantino

Debunking Sleep Myths and Educating Communities

Rafael Pelayo, MD


In his presentation, Dr. Pelayo debunks common myths regarding teen sleep and addresses key questions. Continue reading ...

Dragseth - Portantino.png

In this presentation, Dr. Kenneth Dragseth of Edina, Minnesota and California Senator Anthony Portantino speak to the role of leadership in effecting change at the state and local levels. Continue reading ...

I am leaving this conference with the information needed to be an informed and passionate supporter of later start times. Thank you.
— School Board Member

Changing School Start Times:  Perspectives from the Trenches

Sandy Evans
Darrel Drobnich
Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD

Evans - Drobnich - Snider.png

This panel presentation addressed the “nuts and bolts” challenges of changing school start times from three different perspectives.  Continue reading ...