Research out today by children’s reading charity BookTrust reveals new parents are completely sleep deprived in the child’s first few years, losing out on a whopping 657 hours per year, which equates to almost four weeks of less sleep a year.
BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity also found:
· Parents in Wales are falling ill more frequently due to a lack of sleep
· Welsh parents are more worried than any other region about their children’s night time routine (39%)
· On average parents and carers in Wales get up twice a night to settle young children
Additionally, the nationwide research has revealed:
· Sleep deprivation is the most stressful challenge about becoming a parent, second only to worries about children’s health
· A fifth of new parents (21%) have taken a day off work in order to catch up on lost sleep
· Children not following a Bath, Book, Bed routine are less relaxed at bedtime, get up more often during the night and get fed more frequently.
The survey polled over 1,000 families on bedtime routines and sleeping habits and discovered that half of parents who don’t follow a Bath, Book, Bed routine would favour a night of uninterrupted sleep over romantic weekends and nights out with friends. Health, productivity and sense of humour also suffer in those who aren’t following the nightly routine with 34% eating poorly, 24% nodding off during the day and 34% taking a knock to their sense of humour.
BookTrust’s annual Bath, Book, Bed campaign aims to solve these problems in three easy steps, encouraging parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine and asking families to share stories as a regular part of bedtime to help their little ones sleep soundly.
Jo Frost, worldwide parenting expert and BookTrust Ambassador said: “BookTrust’s Bath, Book, Bed campaign is a really straightforward approach to tackling a problem that most parents with young children face – the bedtime battle. Bedtime routines do not need to be complicated for especially-tired parents on their last legs. Implementing healthy sleeping habits, and a consistent bedtime routine will not only calm down the child and parents but, provide an environment so that both child and parent can read together helping them both relax and wind down. Meaning everyone will be well-rested, happier and healthier.”
Helen Wales, BookTrust Cymru’s National Development Manager said: “BookTrust understands how troublesome it can be for parents to get young children to sleep and we know that sometimes it can feel like a never-ending struggle. Bath Book Bed is all about supporting families to tackle bedtime head on and ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.”
Sweet dreams start with a simple routine. Families can get involved by attending events or visiting www.bathbookbed.org.uk for tips, advice and recommended bedtime books. Get involved on social media @booktrustcymru #bathbookbed and #bathllyfrgwely.