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School is around the corner: Help reset your child's body clock

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If your children have been staying up late and sleeping in all summer, start planning now to reset their body clocks. Starting two weeks before school, have them go to bed earlier each night and get up earlier each morning, until they match their school schedule.

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Inadequate sleep can have a negative effect on health, school performance, mood and ability to process information.

If your child struggles with lack of sleep, try these tips from CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital:

Have children complete homework early and not wait until bedtime.

Have regular bedtime and wake time -- even on weekends.

Provide downtime by reading before bed to settle the mind and unwind.

Restrict TV time and video games, especially scary movies before bed.

Limit or eliminate caffeine. Do not drink caffeinated beverages six hours before bedtime.

For teenagers who can't get out of bed before noon, avoid light at night and bring on more light in the morning.

A child should be evaluated by a health care provider or a sleep specialist if there are any concerns about sleep deprivation or daytime sleepiness. If you suspect your child has a sleeping disorder, the St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center is able to test and treat children as young as 5 years of age. For more information about the Sleep Center, call (320) 251-0726 or visit www.centracare.com.

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