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Summer is almost over and the kids are nearing going back to school.  Now, how to get the kids back on a healthy sleep routine?

Learn about teen sleep patterns  Signs of insufficient sleep are:   difficulty waking, falling asleep in the middle of the day, becoming irritable, and on the weekends sleeping for extra long periods.   Sleep deprivation can increase chance of a car accidents, affect your teen's health, reduce school performance,  cause depression, increase substance abuse, be behind aggressive conduct, and create behavior problems.

Talk with your teens.   Your goal is to help you teen make good choices on how to balance school, work, and activity with healthy sleep needs.  

Plan ahead  Has his/her sleeping habits changed over the summer.  Moving  back to school time should be  gradually and the transition can take several days to several weeks to complete.

Set Boundaries for Sleep   Review your home environment to make sure it promotes healthy sleep habits.  Quiet time in the evenings should be free of loud music and bright lighting.  Limit your teen's use of a computer, radio, TV, phone or instant messaging close to bedtime is always a good idea.  Having a TV in the teen's room is never a good idea.

Limit Caffeine  Consuming caffeine can disturb sleep hours later.  Look at what you have around the house that may contain caffeine;  coffee, soda, chocolate and some pills.  

Be a good role model   It may not seem like it, but your teen is still watching what you do.  Making good sleep habits high priority for yourself will rub off on your teen.

Seek help  If you think your teen may have a sleep disorder, don't be afraid to seek out the help of a professional counselor. Sleepiness can be a sign of other  conditions.

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