"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."





  • English


Undergraduate Degree

  • Brown University , 1977 , Providence , RI

Medical School

  • Brown Medical School , 1980 , Providence , RI


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


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


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

Graduate Degree

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


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.


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.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Zhou ES, Michaud AL, Owens J, Recklitis CJ. Sleep in young-adult cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Clin Sleep Med. 2020 Nov 15; 16(11):1991. View abstract
  2. DelRosso LM, Ferri R, Allen RP, Bruni O, Garcia-Borreguero D, Kotagal S, Owens JA, Peirano P, Simakajornboon N, Picchietti DL. Consensus diagnostic criteria for a newly defined pediatric sleep disorder: restless sleep disorder (RSD). Sleep Med. 2020 Nov; 75:335-340. View abstract
  3. Owens JA, Babcock D, Weiss M. Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Excessive Daytime Sleepiness. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2020 05; 59(4-5):340-351. View abstract
  4. Williams Buckley A, Hirtz D, Oskoui M, Armstrong MJ, Batra A, Bridgemohan C, Coury D, Dawson G, Donley D, Findling RL, Gaughan T, Gloss D, Gronseth G, Kessler R, Merillat S, Michelson D, Owens J, Pringsheim T, Sikich L, Stahmer A, Thurm A, Tuchman R, Warren Z, Wetherby A, Wiznitzer M, Ashwal S. Practice guideline: Treatment for insomnia and disrupted sleep behavior in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: Report of the Guideline Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2020 03 03; 94(9):392-404. View abstract
  5. Whitaker RC, Dearth-Wesley T, Herman AN, Oakes JM, Owens JA. A quasi-experimental study of the impact of school start time changes on adolescents' mood, self-regulation, safety, and health. Sleep Health. 2019 10; 5(5):466-469. View abstract
  6. Spaeth AM, Hawley NL, Raynor HA, Jelalian E, Greer A, Crouter SE, Coffman DL, Carskadon MA, Owens JA, Wing RR, Hart CN. Sleep, energy balance, and meal timing in school-aged children. Sleep Med. 2019 08; 60:139-144. View abstract
  7. Quante M, Khandpur N, Kontos EZ, Bakker JP, Owens JA, Redline S. "Let's talk about sleep": a qualitative examination of levers for promoting healthy sleep among sleep-deprived vulnerable adolescents. Sleep Med. 2019 08; 60:81-88. View abstract
  8. Owens JA, Dearth-Wesley T, Herman AN, Whitaker RC. Drowsy Driving, Sleep Duration, and Chronotype in Adolescents. J Pediatr. 2019 02; 205:224-229. View abstract
  9. Plazzi G, Clawges HM, Owens JA. Clinical Characteristics and Burden of Illness in Pediatric Patients with Narcolepsy. Pediatr Neurol. 2018 08; 85:21-32. View abstract
  10. Owens JA. Tribute to Behavioral Sleep Medicine Reviewers. Behav Sleep Med. 2018 May-Jun; 16(3):310. View abstract
  11. Quante M, Khandpur N, Kontos EZ, Bakker JP, Owens JA, Redline S. A Qualitative Assessment of the Acceptability of Smartphone Applications for Improving Sleep Behaviors in Low-Income and Minority Adolescents. Behav Sleep Med. 2019 Sep-Oct; 17(5):573-585. View abstract
  12. Wahlstrom KL, Owens JA. School start time effects on adolescent learning and academic performance, emotional health and behaviour. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov; 30(6):485-490. View abstract
  13. Owens J. Editorial. Behav Sleep Med. 2017 Nov-Dec; 15(6):421-422. View abstract
  14. Owens JA, Dearth-Wesley T, Herman AN, Oakes JM, Whitaker RC. A quasi-experimental study of the impact of school start time changes on adolescent sleep. Sleep Health. 2017 12; 3(6):437-443. View abstract
  15. Owens J, Troxel W, Wahlstrom K. Commentary on Healthy School Start Times. J Clin Sleep Med. 2017 05 15; 13(5):761. View abstract
  16. Owens JA, Weiss MR. Insufficient sleep in adolescents: causes and consequences. Minerva Pediatr. 2017 Aug; 69(4):326-336. View abstract
  17. Owens J, Wang G, Lewin D, Skora E, Baylor A. Association Between Short Sleep Duration and Risk Behavior Factors in Middle School Students. Sleep. 2017 Jan 01; 40(1). View abstract
  18. Mindell JA, Owens JA, Babcock D, Crabtree VM, Ingram D. Child Sleep Coaches: Current State and Future Directions. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2017 Jan; 56(1):5-12. View abstract
  19. Owens JA, Dearth-Wesley T, Lewin D, Gioia G, Whitaker RC. Self-Regulation and Sleep Duration, Sleepiness, and Chronotype in Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2016 12; 138(6). View abstract
  20. Owens J, Weiss M, Nordbrock E, Mattingly G, Wigal S, Greenhill LL, Chang WW, Childress A, Kupper RJ, Adjei A. Effect of Aptensio XR (Methylphenidate HCl Extended-Release) Capsules on Sleep in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 12; 26(10):873-881. View abstract
  21. Maski K, Owens JA. Insomnia, parasomnias, and narcolepsy in children: clinical features, diagnosis, and management. Lancet Neurol. 2016 10; 15(11):1170-81. View abstract
  22. Redline S, Baker-Goodwin S, Bakker JP, Epstein M, Hanes S, Hanson M, Harrington Z, Johnston JC, Kapur VK, Keepnews D, Kontos E, Lowe A, Owens J, Page K, Rothstein N. Patient Partnerships Transforming Sleep Medicine Research and Clinical Care: Perspectives from the Sleep Apnea Patient-Centered Outcomes Network. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 07 15; 12(7):1053-8. View abstract
  23. Owens J. Editorial. Behav Sleep Med. 2016; 14(1):1. View abstract
  24. Owens J. Editor-in-Chief Commentary. Behav Sleep Med. 2015; 13(5):347-8. View abstract
  25. Owens JA, Mindell J, Baylor A. Effect of energy drink and caffeinated beverage consumption on sleep, mood, and performance in children and adolescents. Nutr Rev. 2014 Oct; 72 Suppl 1:65-71. View abstract
  26. Baumann CR, Mignot E, Lammers GJ, Overeem S, Arnulf I, Rye D, Dauvilliers Y, Honda M, Owens JA, Plazzi G, Scammell TE. Challenges in diagnosing narcolepsy without cataplexy: a consensus statement. Sleep. 2014 Jun 01; 37(6):1035-42. View abstract
  27. Owens JA. Sleep and technology: not always strange bedfellows. Behav Sleep Med. 2014; 12(3):255-6. View abstract
  28. Boergers J, Gable CJ, Owens JA. Later school start time is associated with improved sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2014 Jan; 35(1):11-7. View abstract
  29. Koeck ES, Barefoot LC, Hamrick M, Owens JA, Qureshi FG, Nadler EP. Predicting sleep apnea in morbidly obese adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery. Surg Endosc. 2014 Apr; 28(4):1146-52. View abstract
  30. Picchietti DL, Bruni O, de Weerd A, Durmer JS, Kotagal S, Owens JA, Simakajornboon N. Pediatric restless legs syndrome diagnostic criteria: an update by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. Sleep Med. 2013 Dec; 14(12):1253-9. View abstract
  31. Owens JA. Associations between preschoolers' daytime and nighttime sleep parameters by El-Sheikh, Arsiwalla, Staton, Dyer, and Vaughn. Behav Sleep Med. 2013 Apr; 11(2):105-7. View abstract
  32. Owens JA. A letter to the editor in defense of sleep recommendations. Pediatrics. 2012 May; 129(5):987-8; author reply 989-91; discussion 988-9. View abstract
  33. Viorritto EN, Kureshi SA, Owens JA. Narcolepsy in the pediatric population. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Apr; 12(2):175-81. View abstract
  34. Simmons MS, Artal R, Burch MA, Cain RP, Campano R, Cohen HG, Mann CA, Morgan T, Owens JA, Pullinger A, Relle R, Roesler JM, Sotos J, Yagiela JA, Ziman RB, Simmons JH. Dentistry-based approaches to sleep-disordered breathing, algorithms, and multidisciplinary perspectives. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2012 Feb; 40(2):168-81. View abstract
  35. Owens JA. Update in pediatric sleep medicine. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2011 Nov; 17(6):425-30. View abstract
  36. Owens JA, Jones C, Nash R. Caregivers' knowledge, behavior, and attitudes regarding healthy sleep in young children. J Clin Sleep Med. 2011 Aug 15; 7(4):345-50. View abstract
  37. Owens JA, Jones C. Parental knowledge of healthy sleep in young children: results of a primary care clinic survey. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2011 Jul-Aug; 32(6):447-53. View abstract
  38. Owens JA, Mindell JA. Pediatric insomnia. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2011 Jun; 58(3):555-69. View abstract
  39. Owens JA. Etiologies and evaluation of sleep disturbances in adolescence. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2010 Dec; 21(3):430-45, vii-viii. View abstract
  40. Arbuckle R, Abetz L, Durmer JS, Ivanenko A, Owens JA, Croenlein J, Bolton K, Moore A, Allen RP, Walters AS, Picchietti DL. Development of the Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome Severity Scale (P-RLS-SS): a patient-reported outcome measure of pediatric RLS symptoms and impact. Sleep Med. 2010 Oct; 11(9):897-906. View abstract
  41. Owens JA, Rosen CL, Mindell JA, Kirchner HL. Use of pharmacotherapy for insomnia in child psychiatry practice: A national survey. Sleep Med. 2010 Aug; 11(7):692-700. View abstract
  42. Owens JA, Belon K, Moss P. Impact of delaying school start time on adolescent sleep, mood, and behavior. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 Jul; 164(7):608-14. View abstract
  43. Sagheri D, Wiater A, Steffen P, Owens JA. Applying principles of good practice for translation and cross-cultural adaptation of sleep-screening instruments in children. Behav Sleep Med. 2010; 8(3):151-6. View abstract
  44. Owens JA, Moturi S. Pharmacologic treatment of pediatric insomnia. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Oct; 18(4):1001-16. View abstract
  45. Owens JA. A clinical overview of sleep and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 May; 18(2):92-102. View abstract
  46. Owens JA. Neurocognitive and behavioral impact of sleep disordered breathing in children. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2009 May; 44(5):417-22. View abstract
  47. Jan JE, Owens JA, Weiss MD, Johnson KP, Wasdell MB, Freeman RD, Ipsiroglu OS. Sleep hygiene for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Pediatrics. 2008 Dec; 122(6):1343-50. View abstract
  48. Owens JA. Sleep disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2008 Oct; 10(5):439-44. View abstract
  49. Owens JA, Mehlenbeck R, Lee J, King MM. Effect of weight, sleep duration, and comorbid sleep disorders on behavioral outcomes in children with sleep-disordered breathing. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Apr; 162(4):313-21. View abstract
  50. Li Y, Jin H, Owens JA, Hu C. The association between sleep and injury among school-aged children in rural China: a case-control study. Sleep Med. 2008 Jan; 9(2):142-8. View abstract
  51. Meltzer LJ, Mindell JA, Owens JA, Byars KC. Use of sleep medications in hospitalized pediatric patients. Pediatrics. 2007 Jun; 119(6):1047-55. View abstract
  52. Boergers J, Hart C, Owens JA, Streisand R, Spirito A. Child sleep disorders: associations with parental sleep duration and daytime sleepiness. J Fam Psychol. 2007 Mar; 21(1):88-94. View abstract
  53. Owens JA, Mindell JA. Pediatric sleep medicine: priorities for research, patient care, policy and education. J Clin Sleep Med. 2006 Jan 15; 2(1):77-88. View abstract
  54. Owens JA, Stahl J, Patton A, Reddy U, Crouch M. Sleep practices, attitudes, and beliefs in inner city middle school children: a mixed-methods study. Behav Sleep Med. 2006; 4(2):114-34. View abstract
  55. Sangal RB, Owens JA, Sangal J. Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder without observed apneic episodes in sleep or daytime sleepiness have normal sleep on polysomnography. Sleep. 2005 Sep; 28(9):1143-8. View abstract
  56. Owens JA, Babcock D, Blumer J, Chervin R, Ferber R, Goetting M, Glaze D, Ivanenko A, Mindell J, Rappley M, Rosen C, Sheldon S. The use of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of pediatric insomnia in primary care: rational approaches. A consensus meeting summary. J Clin Sleep Med. 2005 Jan 15; 1(1):49-59. View abstract
  57. Owens JA, Dalzell V. Use of the 'BEARS' sleep screening tool in a pediatric residents' continuity clinic: a pilot study. Sleep Med. 2005 Jan; 6(1):63-9. View abstract
  58. Owens JA, Fernando S, Mc Guinn M. Sleep disturbance and injury risk in young children. Behav Sleep Med. 2005; 3(1):18-31. View abstract
  59. Owens JA. Introduction: Culture and sleep in children. Pediatrics. 2005 Jan; 115(1 Suppl):201-3. View abstract
  60. Liu X, Liu L, Owens JA, Kaplan DL. Sleep patterns and sleep problems among schoolchildren in the United States and China. Pediatrics. 2005 Jan; 115(1 Suppl):241-9. View abstract
  61. Owens JA. The electronic sandman: the impact of the media on adolescent sleep. Sleep. 2004 Feb 01; 27(1):15-6. View abstract
  62. Mindell JA, Owens JA. Sleep problems in pediatric practice: clinical issues for the pediatric nurse practitioner. J Pediatr Health Care. 2003 Nov-Dec; 17(6):324-31. View abstract
  63. Owens JA, Rosen CL, Mindell JA. Medication use in the treatment of pediatric insomnia: results of a survey of community-based pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2003 May; 111(5 Pt 1):e628-35. View abstract
  64. Fallone G, Owens JA, Deane J. Sleepiness in children and adolescents: clinical implications. Sleep Med Rev. 2002 Aug; 6(4):287-306. View abstract
  65. Owens JA, Blum J. Sleep, fatigue, and medical training: an overview. Med Health R I. 2002 Mar; 85(3):82-5. View abstract
  66. Bloom BJ, Owens JA, McGuinn M, Nobile C, Schaeffer L, Alario AJ. Sleep and its relationship to pain, dysfunction, and disease activity in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2002 Jan; 29(1):169-73. View abstract