HALO Research Scientist Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput and HALO Affiliate Investigator Dr. Val Carson are among the authors on a paper, “School start time changes in the COMPASS study: associations with youth sleep duration, physical activity, and screen time ,” that was recently published in Sleep Medicine. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Patte KA, Qian W, Cole AG, Faulkner G, Chaput JP, Carson V, Leatherdale ST. School start time changes in the COMPASS study: associations with youth sleep duration, physical activity, and screen time. Sleep Med. 2018 Oct 12. pii: S1389-9457(18)30793-7.


BACKGROUND: To date, no longitudinal population-based studies of school start times have been conducted within Canada. School schedule changes provided an opportunity to examine start times in association with youth sleep, physical activity, and screen use over time. METHODS: This longitudinal study included grade 9-12 students attending 49 Ontario secondary schools that participated in at least two consecutive years of the COMPASS study (2012-2017). Fixed effects models tested whether differences in within-student change in self-reported sleep duration, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and screen time were associated with school start time changes, adjusting for student- (grade, sex, ethnicity, spending money) and school-level covariates (median income, urbanicity, geographical area). RESULTS: Thirteen start time changes of 5-10 min were reported. Ten-minute advances at earlier clock times (8:30 AM-8:20 AM; 8:40 AM-8:30 AM) were associated with steeper sleep duration declines than schools with consistent start times but had no effect at later times (9:00 AM-8:50 AM). While sleep change did not differ with 5-min delays, 10-min delays (8:50 AM-9:00 AM) were associated with additional sleep (23.7 min). Apart from one school that shifted from 8:30 AM to 8:35 AM, in which screen time and physical activity decreased more steeply, no effect was found for screen time, and 5-min delays were associated with more physical activity (10.9 min) and advances with less activity (-8.0 min). CONCLUSIONS: Results support start time delays as a valuable strategy to help ameliorate sleep debt among youth. Interference with physical activity or increased screen time appear unlikely with modest schedule changes. Potential adverse impacts on sleep require consideration with 10-min advances.