Parent sleep counseling may improve kids' shut-eye

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Screening kids for sleeping problems and discussing sleep strategies with parents could help youngsters settle into school with better nighttime routines, suggests new research from Australia.

Researchers found that when they had sleep-related consultations with parents, kids tended to have fewer sleep problems and better bedtime habits than children whose parents didn't get counseled.

The study was small and didn't demonstrate that the sleep improvements led to changes in kids' academic achievements later in the year.

Still, the findings show that "sleep problems are common in young school children and are treatable using ... a brief behavior-based intervention," study author Jon Quach, from the University of Melbourne, told Reuters Health in an email.

"Parents should seek advice for their child's sleep if they are concerned," he added.