Switching kids to school sleep schedule

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The countdown is on for the first day of school with some local districts starting as early as August 21st, and doctors say parents shouldn't waste any time transitioning their kids to a school sleep schedule.

Doctors say there's a direct correlation between good sleep and how well your child does in school. That's why they it's important to give you child enough time to transition to the new sleep schedule.

Families like Lynn Ross and her two boys are already starting that process.

"My boys actually go back on August 21st," Ross said. "We try to ease them into you know going to bed a little bit earlier."

Psychologist Dr. Natalie Moser says that's just the right way

"It's hard to make that adjustment overnight," Moser said. "Around sort-of the beginning of August I like to talk to families about adjusting child schedules."

Moser recommends transitioning kids to their school year bedtime at least two weeks before the first day. She says that can help ease anxiety and get kids excited for school.

"I'm usually surprised at how many kids I work with are actually looking forward to getting back to school and getting involved with a more structured routine, something that they're really familiar with," Moser added.

Moser says it's also important to set a bedtime routine that will help your child relax and have a better night's sleep. She also recommends having your kids turn off the electronics well before bed-time.

Not all kids need the same amount of shut-eye. The most recent guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation are:
- Preschoolers 3-5 years old should get 10-13 hours of sleep
- Children 6-13 years old should get 9-11 hours of sleep
- Teenagers 14-17 years old should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep

Ross and her family are right on track. Ross says she's even written out her boy's bedtime and wake up routines so there's no confusion over what they're expected to do.

"They can see that on our refrigerator so that they know they have certain things to do," she added.

In the meantime the family is enjoying what's left of summer