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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first day of school is this Monday for students in South Florida. That means it’s time to get kids back to their usual sleep routine.

The Kuenstler family has had a busy fun-filled summer.

“I really try to keep them on a schedule, which is a little later than the school year,” said Helen Kuenstler. “Although, they still have to get up for camp.”

With the school year approaching, pediatrician Dr. Elissa Rubin says it’s time make sleep a priority.

“Try and get that bed time moved up a little earlier and to do it gradually over a two week period so they don’t really feel it so much,” explained Rubin of Happy and Healthy Pediatrics. “And if need be, wake them up earlier.

Electronics and screens should be off limits about an hour before bed because they can be stimulating and kids need to wind down.

Dr. Rubin said getting enough rest is critical for children. That means nine to 12 hours for 6 to 12 year olds and eight to 10 hours for teens, because, according to Rubin, “if not their school performance is very affected.”

“Not only on their levels of attention, but just their level of comprehension and ability to remember things and what they are being taught,” she added.

Kuenstler  says her children thrive on sleep.

“I think they just learn so much better,” she said. “They can focus in school, less meltdowns and happier.”

Experts stress consistency. Letting kids sleep in or stay up late on the weekend makes it harder to get back on track for the school week.

Research shows not getting enough sleep can put children at risk for physical and mental health problems such as obesity and depression.


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