Does a lack of sleep affect your child's behavior? - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Does a lack of sleep affect your child's behavior?

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Do your kids constantly yawn at the breakfast table? They may not have gotten enough sleep, and that could be affecting their attitude at school.

A new study recently came out in the journal "Pediatrics" saying that students who get more sleep are better behaved.

A higher percentage of adolescents, ages 13 and 14, are not getting enough sleep because of lack of parental guidance.

Dr. Rachel Yankey, a Family Medicine Physician at Blessing Physician Services, explains why school children, especially in the 13-14 age group, need to focus more on healthy sleep habits.

 "The patterns of everything are still being set, and their activity levels so they just need more to be able to function optimally in terms of academic performance and just normal social interaction," said Dr. Yankey.

Dr. Yankey suggests that parents try to create a good example as far as sleeping habits go and to not be afraid to set sleep times for teenagers.

The sooner you create those good sleeping habits the more inclined your kids will be to stick with them throughout their development.

Dr. Yankey also recommended amount of sleep for adolescents is 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours. For elementary school kids is generally between 10 to 11 hours a sleep per night. But, it also depends on the child's activity level.

If they play sports and are constantly on the go, then you may want to consider even more sleep because a sleep-deprived athlete could lead to sports injuries.

"By later on the afternoon when the practices are and when the games are your attention level is far decreased so you're not as apt to follow directions well and to follow more complicated plays and things like that," added Dr. Yankey.

If your child has a hard time falling asleep, detach them from their electronics. Have them turn off electronics and shut off the television 30-40 minutes before bedtime as a time to "unwind."

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