This Week's Herman Trend Alert

COVID-19 and Sleep

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 7, 2021

Adolescent Sleep Deprivation, COVID, and Learning

Some years ago now, I covered the topic of school start times and how adolescents would perform better if (and when) we considered their circadian rhythms. See that Herman Trend Alert here.

Past Evidence Had Been Ignored
Twelve years ago, long before Adrianna Huffington's landmark book on sleep, I wrote about the research that showed schools for adolescent children should begin their day at 8:30am or later. That way, young people would be able to get the 8 to 10 hours of sleep recommended by experts for their age group.

COVID, a Natural Experiment
One unintended (and happy) consequence of the global pandemic has been that adolescents forced to move to remote learning have benefitted from an extra hour or more of sleep. They did not have to catch buses at dawn or report to their classrooms as early as 7:30 am.

The Evidence is Significant
From the Academy of Pediatrics to researchers at Harvard Medical School, sleep experts agree that more sleep benefits young people. Yet, in spite of this agreement, 93 percent of US high schools and 83 percent of middle schools are not following that guidance. And that includes everywhere except progressive California: California passed legislation, in October 2019, to mandate that high schools start no earlier than 8:30 am and middle schools no earlier than 8 am; the law takes effect in 2022.

Sleep Deprivation Contributes to Some Nasty Problems
From obesity and diabetes to heart disease, mood disorders, substance abuse and even vehicle accidents, sleep deprivation contributes to these issues. Adequate sleep not only makes all of us feel better, but it also improves overall health, bolstering our immune systems---especially important in these pandemic times.

Will We Take Heed of these Data?
Unfortunately, in spite of overwhelming anecdotal evidence to the contrary, most school districts intend to resume the previous schedules. Remote learning had allowed many of formerly sleep-deprived adolescents to stay in bed an extra hour or more, providing a "natural experiment" that sleep experts hoped would inform the long debate over school starting times. Sadly, the break students enjoyed with remote learning was abandoned when we were once again were able to meet in person, ignoring the gains that some students had experienced.

What's Next for this Issue
Unless and until parents and school administrators wake up and start putting children's health before convenience for adults, we will not see major changes in school schedules. I am pessimistic about this change in the short-term, but optimistic in the long-term.

Special thanks to the Washington Post for their valuable coverage of this important topic.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Gamifying Small Business Marketing
Next week, I return to one of my favorite topics: Gamification. In this Trend Alert, I will explore how small and medium size businesses can use Gamification for fun and profit.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

This week, on the Geeks Geezers and Googlization Show, the podcast cohosted by Ira Wolfe and me, our first segment will be Dr. Solange Charas, Founder of HC Moneyball who will talk about the Human Capital Tsunami headed our way. In our second segment, we will interview Debbie Levitt regarding her free video course on recruiting CX and UX talent. You can access the podcast live on YouTube (or catch us on your favorite podcast replay).

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

Want to know how Joyce (our author) gets quoted in TIME Magazine and this week, College Recruiter? Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2021 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Until May 20th, get a free 10-Day Pass and send news releases free at

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.