As September and back-to-school grows ever nearer, an expert advises parents about putting their children on the right track sleep-wise.

"We actually are a sleep-deprived society, that we do not prioritize sleep enough," said Dr. Steven Tobias, a Morristown-based child and family psychologist.

"It is summer, it is a little more relaxed. Schedules are different. But the reality is, we all gotta get up for work in the morning. Kids gotta get up and go to school. And sleep is extremely important."

Tobias advises families to begin right now to ease kids into that first school day by imposing a half-hour earlier bedtime and a half-hour earlier wake-up. He says parents and kids need sufficient sleep to enhance their mood and attention and their ability to focus and learn.

"The first thing that I would do is to sit down with the kid and explain the 'why this' — that it is not arbitrary [...]to really help the kids understand, and hopefully buy into, why it is important to start working on this now and in fact, what the parent is trying to do is to make things easier for the child, once they get to school."

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