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Sleep is key to making sure your child has a smooth first day of school

Sleep is key to making sure your child has a smooth first day of school.

YAKIMA, Wash.- Kindergartners in the West Valley School District are already ahead of the game when it comes to getting ready for school.

Wide Hollow Elementary has already had their kindergartners come in and get used to what school is like, thanks to Staggered Start.

Jennifer Balderston is a teacher at the school and she says the program gives parents a chance to meet their child's teacher and everyone gets to meet who they are going to be with for the rest of the school year.

"Starting school for the first time at five years old, some of them coming in without preschool experience and being away from their families," she said.

While kindergartners in the West Valley School District are getting ready with Staggered Start. Older students in the area can get ready for school by just going to bed early a few days before school starts.

The proper amount of shut eye can be the difference between being ready to learn and waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Amy Norton is a registered nurse with the Educational Service District 105 and she says lack of sleep can make the first day of school harder than it needs to be.

"It can cause students to have trouble getting along with others, mood swing, anger or impulsive type behaviors,” Norton said. “Just like grownups. When we get tired we can get a little cranky.”

Norton recommends to set up a sleep schedule a few days before school and has tips on how to get the best sleep.

For children, she recommends to avoid heavy snacks before bed and remove TVs and phones from the room.

For older students, they should exercise and eat several hours before bed and avoid naps but, if needed, keep them short and avoid them in late afternoon.

Also, the amount of sleep students should get depends on how old they are. Norton says you should make sure younger kids are getting extra sleep.

"When you are little, you're growing a lot more and your body is changing a lot more and it needs that time to rest and recoup so your body can develop correctly," she said.

Norton also says the battle doesn't end when they wake up on the first day of school.

Eating breakfast also gives students a jump start to stay focused and alert when they sit down at their desk.

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