Very few children enjoy early mornings and getting up before the sun rises. Now, doctors are helping them out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending schools delay start times for middle and high schools.

This comes after overwhelming evidence that adolescents who don't get adequate amounts of sleep suffer physical and mental health problems and do not perform as well academically. However, getting enough sleep at night is difficult when their first class is at 7:30 a.m.

"Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common - and easily fixable - public health issues in the US today," said Dr. Judith Owens, lead author of the new recommendations. "The research is clear that adolescents who get enough sleep have a reduced risk of being overweight or suffering depression, are less likely to be involved in automobile accidents, and have better grades, higher standardized test scores and an overall better quality of life."

The AAP is recommending that classes be delayed until at least 8:30 a.m. to align school schedules with adolescents' biological sleep patterns. An estimated 40 percent of high schools in the country begin classes before 8 a.m. and more than 20 percent begin at 7:45 or earlier.

Though many school district officials argue that these earlier start times have always been in place and changing them would be difficult, but many school districts around the U.S. have been able to successfully move their classes to later start times. Though there are costs related to changing district start times and other factors, the AAP says it is worth the effort.

Sleep deprivation has long been associated with being a teenager and being a student. Studies have shown that 87 percent of high school students get less than 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. According to the AAP, high school seniors get less than 7 hours of sleep a night.

This could be because of the number of extracurricular activities, jobs and use of technology that teens and adolescents take part in. The AAP also recommends parents set a media curfew after which children cannot use media devices.

Some people suggest making teens go to sleep earlier, but research shows that during adolescence, the body delays secreting melatonin, a hormone that tells the body when to go to bed. Therefore it takes adolescents longer to wind down and fall asleep.

The AAP said napping, sleeping in on weekends and caffeine consumption should not be viewed as remedies for sleepiness - they are only temporary solutions.

"By advocating for later school start times for middle and high school students, the AAP is both promoting the compelling scientific evidence that supports school start time delay as an important public health measure, and providing support and encouragement to those school districts around the country contemplating that change," Owens said.

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