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Some parents want kids to get more sleep

Rochester, N.Y. - The American Academy of Pediatrics says close to 90 percent of teenagers in the United States aren't getting enough sleep. The Academy said sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for car accidents, depression and weight gain as well as other health issues.

The Academy is recommending that high schools and middle schools adjust their schedules so that teens can start an hour later or no earlier than 8:30 in the morning.

Many local teens and their parents told 13WHAM News that it was a great idea.

Anthony Rodriguez is a football player at Greece Arcadia High School. He said it's exhausting during the school year because he has practice after school, then goes home and does homework and only gets about six hours of sleep a night.

He said sleeping in an hour longer would make him more wide awake so he isn't falling asleep in class.

Lauren Scheggenburger said she often left for school at Churchville-Chili when it was still dark outside. She said there were times she was so tired she could have fallen asleep at the wheel or in class once she got to school.

Her mother Karen said mornings are too hectic and these teens are often skipping breakfast and getting by on too little sleep. She said making the start time later would give families more time in the morning and help teenagers stay focused during the school day.

Pediatrician Dr. Edward Lewis said the recommendation makes "total sense." Lewis said kids have busy lives and most don't get the sleep they need. He said some are over-scheduled and many are stressed.

But Lewis said a schedule change like this wouldn't be easy to make, because of things like bus schedules, extra-curricular activities and sports. He said it would essentially push everything back an hour, which could cause issues at the end of the day. Lewis questioned if that would mean teens would be going to bed later, and not really gaining any more sleep.

Karen Beyers is the mother of three sons. She said mornings in her household can be hectic because of the early start time for high school. She said she hopes school will at least try to implement this change to test it out.

Her son Bradley said it would help, especially when teens are trying to focus in the morning at the start of the day.

Some teens told 13WHAM News they try to catch up on sleep on the weekends or on the bus on the way to school, but some admit they sometimes doze off in class because they are simply exhausted.

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Washington Times