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As the school year draws near, getting back into a good sleeping routine can take time and effort.

Joleen Dilk Salyn, pediatric sleep consultant and owner/founder of Baby Sleep 101 says sleep is essential.

"It is just as important as having healthy nutrition. We wouldn't skip meals, we wouldn't expect kids to do well without eating healthy, so we can't expect them to do well without getting the proper amount of sleep," explained Dilk Salyn.

According to Dilk Salyn, most kids in the early years are still needing about 11-12 hours of sleep at night.

With just a few weeks left before school, now is the time to start transitioning children back into their regular sleeping habits.

"So every night, every few nights you can start moving your bed time up a little bit earlier. It doesn't have to be anything drastic, you know 10 minutes to 15 minutes, that's all you really need to do," explained Dilk Salyn. "Once we start to move the bedtime up early, it helps the body to readjust itself, so they can start to get a really good nights sleep, and be well rested when school starts."

Diet and exercise also play a role in how well a child will sleep at night. Parents are encouraged to avoid excess caffeine and food items that may contain a lot of sugar.

"You don't want them to get a sugar rush when they're trying to settle down and then all of a sudden they're buzzed, and they're flying off the walls and doing cartwheels on the bed. Nutrition and sleep go hand in hand," said Dilk Salyn.

Dilk Salyn reminds parents that they can't expect to see miracles right off the bat. It does take the average child at least a week to readjust.

Parents struggling to get their children to sleep are encouraged to seek help, either from a pediatric sleep consultant or a pediatrician.

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