Susan Malone, PhD, RN, is a researcher at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing who has studied the relationship between dimensions of sleep (duration, timing, chronotype, regularity), health behaviors, and body mass index in adolescents. She's also a former school nurse.
Research shows that starting school early is at odds with adolescents' developmental needs and changes. Delayed school start times are associated with better sleep; less tardiness, absenteeism, and suspensions; improvements in mood and graduation rates; and safer driving. This week, California passed a new law delaying start times for middle schools and high schools.
Malone was the coauthor of a 2017 article in the journal Sleep Health that described how the field of behavioral economics can help schools to adjust their start times, including make later start times the social norm and graphically depict the negative consequences of early start times.