"I am deeply committed to providing evidence-based information about the importance of sleep to health, safety and performance to a wide variety of audiences."

MEDICAL SERVICES

Departments

Programs

Languages

  • English

EDUCATION

Undergraduate Degree

  • Brown University , 1977 , Providence , RI

Medical School

  • Brown Medical School , 1980 , Providence , RI

Internship

Pediatrics
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , 1981 , Philadelphia , PA

Residency

Pediatrics
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , 1983 , Philadelphia , PA

Fellowship

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Minneapolis Children's Medical Center , 1985 , Minneapolis , MO

Graduate Degree

Maternal & Child Health
  • University of Minnesota , 1986 , Minneapolis , MO

Fellowship

Child Psychiatry
  • Bradley Hospital , 1987 , East Providence , RI

Philosophy of Care

I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a doctor. My mother was a strong role model for me, and encouraged me to be anything I could imagine. I never felt that because I was a girl I was limited or that I couldn't pursue science.

I enrolled in a combined undergraduate and medical school program at Brown University, completing both in seven years. Even as a biology major, I loved the humanities and still do—I try to make time to read a history book or biography before I leave for work in the morning. I almost became an obstetrician, and then a psychiatrist, and later pursued a social-science degree in maternal and child health. I have spent much of my career in New England, some as a general pediatrician, and I know what it is like to treat 8,000 ear infections each winter! My broad-ranging intellectual interests are central to who I am and how I approach care, research and advocacy.

I became further solidified by how sleep affects children's health when my own daughter was in high school. The headmaster of her school wanted to shift the school's start time from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.—as a pediatrician and scientist, I suggested studying the effects of that change. The results were remarkable and launched me on a path to advocate for healthy sleep habits for all kids, backed by solid evidence-based research.

As the director of the hospital's Sleep Center, I believe in helping all families struggling with a good night sleep, whether the problem is big or small. I take an individual approach to each family's situation and help parents and kids reach their goals. Changing poor sleep habits can be hard, but the evidence is clear that sleep is key to performance, health and safety.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

I am guided in my professional life by the idea of advocacy, for my own patients and for children in general.

In particular, I am a champion for healthy school start times for all students. Conclusive, evidence-based research shows that better sleep means improved performance, higher executive functioning, fewer car accidents and improved overall health in kids. I am the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2014 policy statement on the importance of later school start times for teenagers and I advocate on the topic from Massachusetts to India.

 

Sleep medicine didn't really exists as a field when I graduated from medical school in 1980. We were not trained to think that children had sleep problems. But as a young pediatrician, I kept seeing all these kids coming in with disordered sleep. I founded one of the country's first sleep clinics for children in 1993.

The Sleep Center at Boston Children's Hospital was one of the first places to take the connection between sleep and health seriously. Now as the center's director, I am committed to expanding our multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach and reaching more families trying to get a good night's rest.

I am also an expert in learning, attention and behavior in children, having directed programs in behavioral pediatrics over the past 20 years at Hasbro Children's Hospital and Brown Medical School in Providence, RI. The connection between ADHD and sleep is of particular interest in my practice.

I completed medical school at Brown University, residency at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and fellowships in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, child psychiatry and psychiatry and human behavior. I hold a master's degree in maternal and child health from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

I am the editor in chief of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, one of the sleep field's most respected publications. I am also on the governing council of the World Association of Sleep Medicine.  In 2006 I was awarded the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's Excellence in Education Award, and in 2012, was honored to receive the AASM Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy and Advocacy Award.