Free Public Lecture from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School


Changes in Sleep Biology Create a Perfect Storm Affecting Teen Health and Well-Being

December 7, 2020

6pm-7pm ET (3pm-4pm PT)



Mary Carskadon, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Director, Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory, EP Bradley Hospital

Topics Covered

Changes that occur in adolescent sleep patterns are associated with altered biological regulation of sleep, as well as the social/behavioral setting. I will introduce the two-process model of sleep regulation to provide a foundation for understanding sleep biology. I will then highlight the evidence for changes to these fundamental processes during adolescent development. I will describe a third component affecting adolescent sleep is their psychosocial “space,” which is also changing during adolescence. How these factors interact and encounter societal pressures helps to explain why many youngsters have short and variable sleep. We will end by discussing some of the negative consequences of poor sleep for learning, mental health, and overall well-being.

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