Does Sleep Affect The Way You Parent? This New Study Says Yes

mbg Contributor By Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist writing about health, wellness, feminism, entertainment, personal finance, and more. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.

Photo by Kristen Curette Hines

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It's no secret that parents don't always have the easiest time getting the sleep they need. But a new study out of the University of Illinois points to exactly how important it is to prioritize sleep: It may actually affect what kind of parent you are.

The study specifically examined the relationship between sleep and "permissive parenting," or the tendency to be inconsistent with discipline and have few guidelines and rules. Researchers examined the sleep patterns of 234 mothers and found that those who slept better and longer were less likely to have a permissive parenting style than those who didn't get enough sleep.

"It may be that they're more irritable, experiencing impaired attention, or so overtired that they are less consistent in their parenting," explains researcher Kelly Tu. "But on the plus side, we also find that mothers who are receiving adequate sleep are less likely to be permissive with their adolescents."

If you suspect your sleep patterns are having a negative impact on the way you parent, what can you do about it? Start by helping your kids get a good night's sleep by minimizing the use of technology and other electronics, and then work on employing holistic sleep remedies for yourself: Think stress-reducing essential oils, meditation, and yoga. You've got this!

Looking for a parenting strategy to help with bad behavior? Here's one that might work.

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