Screen_Shot_2014-09-02_at_7.46.59_PMGetting kids to stick to a bedtime routine can be an uphill battle that's bound to make even the most patient parent want to hide under the covers. With the summer break over and the school year kicking into high gear, moms and dads all over the country are dreading the words: "But I don't want to go to sleep!" Today when we spoke to District Education Officer for Orange Walk Town, Carla Alvarez, we found out that the process of readjusting to a school-day schedule may be challenging, but it must be done.

Carla Alvarez – District Education Officer, OW

“During the summer we allow children to stay later and then they get up later in the morning and so they get into that pattern as you mentioned and so I think one of the important things we need to do is maybe a couple of weeks before classes actually start we need to try to little by little put them back into that mode of going to sleep a little bit earlier every night and then getting up a little bit earlier every morning because yes it does take some adjustments, I am experiencing with my own child, but I think if we consistently do that at least may a week before classes start if we can try to send our children to bed a little bit earlier then they start to get up a little bit earlier and then it is not so challenging on the first day of classes.”

A large body of research has shown that sleep is critical for a child's development. Lack of sleep in children is a contributing risk factor for a number of health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and emotional problems. Bad sleep hygiene is also linked to poor school performance. All of this means parents must make it a priority.

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