Video: Holy Cross Psychologist Explores Sleep Deprivation Among Adolescents

Renowned expert debunks myths, presents research findings

November 18th, 2011 by 
HC Video Player 2.11


Are teenagers acting troublesome when they refuse to follow Ben Franklin’s “early to bed, early to rise” principle? Or is there an inherent biological need to sleep and wake up late?

In a live online lecture titled “The ABC’s of ZZZ’s During Adolescence,” Amy Wolfson, professor of psychology and associate dean for faculty development, argues that the desire among adolescents to stay up late is the result of a biological shift in circadian rhythm that occurs between the ages of 10 and 17.

Most adolescents need roughly nine hours of sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed and function at optimal levels. But the natural circadian shift coupled with early school start times has made sleep deprivation among middle and high school students a widespread problem.

A nationally-recognized expert on sleep, Wolfson draws on extensive research — including her own — to discuss a variety of influences and constraints on adolescent sleep patterns, the consequences of poorly rested adolescents, and possible countermeasures that might be taken to help middle and high schoolers get the sleep they need.

Wolfson doesn’t take all the blame off the shoulders of youth. She describes a recent survey in which 18 percent of adolescents polled said they woke up during the night several times a week to respond to a text or email message.

Wolfson’s online lecture was recently streamed on the Holy Cross Web site as part of a series by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Education Program in collaboration with the Office of Public Affairs. These online lectures feature Holy Cross’ exceptional faculty and are designed to keep alumni engaged and thinking critically even after they have left campus.

Related Information:

| More


Comments (1)
  1. liz dichiara says:

    really enjoyed this. i was on the committee in sharon that passed the later start time for the high school. thanks! liz gasek dichiara ’83

Sort By:
11/24/15 Holy Cross Community Celebrates Retirement of Beloved Employee
11/23/15 Julianna Baggott’s New Bridget Asher Novel ‘All of Us and Everything’ Makes People’s Best New Books
11/20/15 The Holy Cross Community Comes Together in the Wake of Violence Around the World
11/20/15 15th Annual Unity Week Celebrations Conclude with Keynote Address
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: The Splendor of Autumn on Mount St. James

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Campus Conversations and Discussion Connect Students with Distinguished Alumni

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Faculty Offer Multidisciplinary Analysis of Pope’s Encyclical on Environment

Watch Video >

What’s Happening on Campus


Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Basketball vs. Harvard University

See More >

Katrina Then and Now: Artists as Witness

See More >

Holy Cross in the News


Holy Cross Accounting Program Ranks No. 3 in Massachusetts

Accounting Degree Review

The College of the Holy Cross’ accounting program ranks No. 3 in Accounting Degree Review’s “Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts.” According to...


‘Women in Business conference: Holy Cross alumna at Vanity Fair says degree is key to success’

Telegram & Gazette

“Earning a liberal arts degree is the smartest thing a person can do to become successful in the business world,” said Aimee Bell ’88 to the Worcester Telegram...


Economist Magazine Places Holy Cross in Top 3 Percent of ‘Best Value’ Ranking

The Economist

The College of the Holy Cross is No. 36 among 1300 public and private institutions reviewed by the Economist in its first-ever best value rankings, putting the College in the...