UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
As students collect their class schedules for the start of school, one thing parents need to schedule, is their child's sleep.
"It's hard to keep your mental functions going at full capacity when you're not giving your body the rest that it needs," Dr. Eddy Dark, MD said.
But just how much sleep does your school-aged child need?
"It kinda depends on the child, but it's really hard to make that transition from summer time to going back to school. Most children you know, grade school age, they need a lot more sleep than everyone anticipates," Dr. Dark said.
Doctors say not spending enough time in bed can decrease your immune system and increase your time at the doctors office.
There are many different and easily detectable signs of sleep deprivation.
"You may start noticing different things with the kids themselves. As far as their grades start dropping, you know their moods are changing, they're getting into trouble, they start getting distracted and not really paying good attention," Dr. Dark said.
Local mother Kimberly Wooten said,"they will fight amongst each other they will not be having any energy to go out and play, or to swim or to do any of the sports activities that they normally like to do."
Dr. Dark said it takes 2 weeks to develop a sleep habit, so the clinic expects to see more children around the third week of school.