School Start Time Conference - Session 06:

Deficient Sleep in Teens:  The Impact on Cognition and Brain Function - Dean Beebe, PhD

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Amazing presentations, great information — spot on!
— School Administrator

Dean Beebe, PhD, Director, Neuropsychology Program, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Beebe reports the results of experiments that have investigated the relationship between restricted sleep and cognitive performance, including sustained attention, working memory and executive functions.  One study looked at the cognitive performance and self-reported mood of a group of students who were subject to sleep restriction of 6.5 hours per night for 5 consecutive nights compared to their performance and mood when they had 9 hours of sleep per night for 5 consecutive nights.  When sleep-restricted, students exhibited slower reaction times and scored lower on attention/vigilance tests compared to their performance when they had 9 hours of sleep.  Performance in quizzes administered after listening to educational videos increased markedly when the students had 9 hours of sleep, compared to 6.5 hours of sleep. 

Dr. Beebe provides preliminary experimental evidence from 3 studies that suggest that “recovery sleep” over weekends for sleep-restricted students is not sufficient to bring their cognitive performance up to the baseline performance achieved when the students consistently had 9 hours of sleep.


Dean Beebe, PhD
Dean Beebe is a professor of pediatrics and the director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. A major focus of his research has been the use of experimental sleep manipulations to test the impact of inadequate sleep on adolescents’ thinking skills, learning, mood, dietary intake, physical activity, skills in a simulated driving environment, and brain activation in response to attention challenges and food-related stimuli. He also works closely with other investigators examining the impact of sleep changes on the health of youth with chronic medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, and ADHD. Board-certified in clinical neuropsychology and in pediatric neuropsychology, his clinical work specializes in the evaluation and care of children who have chronic medical and neurological conditions, as well as those with both recent and remotely-acquired brain injuries. He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN), the Advisory Board of Start School Later, Inc., and committees of the AACN, the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, Sleep Research Society, and International Neuropsychological Society.  Dr. Beebe is an associate editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, and is on the editorial boards for Child Neuropsychology, SLEEP, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine.