Feeling tired? You may inadvertently be doing this

Feeling tired? You may inadvertently be doing this

If you’re tired, are you less likely to discipline your teenager? A recent study at the University of Illinois suggests that might be the case.

The 2018 research involved 234 mothers and their adolescents. While sleeping, the moms wore an actigraph, which is a wristwatch-type device that detects movement and disruption during the night. That information was compared to data gathered from the teens related to permissiveness in parenting.

Researchers found those mothers with less sleep were more likely to be inconsistent and lax in discipline.

“Sleep disruption can significantly impact our ability to function throughout the day,” says Dr. Allison Clarke, a licensed pediatric clinical psychologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital.  “Insufficient sleep impacts our ability to act purposefully, plan and make decisions. With limited sleep, following through on our parenting intentions and goals can be impeded.”

Dr. Clarke says sleepless mothers who feel overwhelmed and unsure of decisions can inadvertently let adolescents take charge.

“That’s why it’s so important for parents to seek support when they need it,” she says. “By prioritizing your own health and well-being, you can best support a healthy environment for your kids.”

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About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!