Improving your child’s sleep habits doesn’t happen overnight, but there are steps parents can take to gradually bring about change, reports NBC.

Unfortunately, many kids aren’t getting it says Hoi See Tsao, MD, FAAP, a pediatric emergency fellow at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, R.I.

In fact, says Tsao, a former middle school teacher who recently completed a study on the topic, sleep deprivation has become epidemic and now affects about a third of U.S. school-age children. It’s become “a serious public health problem and is associated with a number of physical and mental health issues,” she said. To remedy this, “increased efforts are needed.”

via Is your child sleep deprived? Here’s how it can affect their development.