School bells actually start ringing on Friday for some students across the Tennessee Valley.

Back to school not only means books and supplies, one local doctor says it also means parents shouldn’t forget to make sleep a priority as students gear up for another school year.

The lazy days of summer are wrapping up and for most students getting up and getting the day started can be one of their toughest assignments of the new school year. 

"The three things that are necessary for life are nutrition, exercise, and sleep," says Dr. Anuj Chandra with Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders.

Dr. Anuj Chandra says with hectic schedules and trying to squeeze everything in, families don't make sleep a priority.

"Whether it's kids in multiple activities and parents taking them everywhere and getting back at 10:30 or 11,” Dr. Chandra says, “it's coming at the expense of sleep."

Dr. Chandra says that a lack of sleep has led to an epidemic of anxiety, depression, and mental health problems. 

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, children who are 3 to 5 years old need 10 to 13 hours of sleep; children who are 6 to 12 years old need nine to 12 hours of sleep, and teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep. 

Getting the proper amount of sleep can make a big difference when it comes to how students perform in the classroom.

Here are some other tips for parents and students to keep in mind: maintain a normal sleep schedule, and limit television, video games, and other electronic distractions before bedtime. Also, avoid caffeine at night.

Click here to learn more about Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders.