California has become the first state in the nation to pass legislation that forces schools to open later to improve their students' academic performance.

On Sunday, October 13, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation prohibiting middle schools from opening earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

"The science shows that teenage students who start their day later increase their academic performance, attendance and overall health," Newsom said in a statement. "Importantly, the law allows three years for schools and school districts to plan and implement these changes."

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Imagine you're in your school math class after staying up late doing homework, and the teacher calls on you to explain something complicated on the board.

Ah, there's that palm sweat everyone who's been through this is painfully familiar with.

As if woken abruptly from a dream — which, let's face it, might've been the case — you look up sheepishly at the teacher, then around at everyone else staring back at you. You squint desperately at the equation on the board, but it might as well be in some language you don't know. Maybe you try to answer it and make no sense or just sink in your seat and say, "I don't know." Either way, aside from feeling like a zombie, you're also probably left feeling pretty embarrassed.

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It's ironic: When they're younger, you can't keep them from springing to life before 6 a.m. As teenagers, you can barely get them up for school.

Small children won't sleep in late to save their (or, more accurately, their parents') lives, but by the time they're old enough to savor their sleep, they have to get up early to go to school. When it comes to kids' sleep cycles, no one wins.

But research suggests it might be time to change that by switching up morning schedules and letting teens sleep in.

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