Parents Face Sleepless Nights as Daylight Savings Ends
Mums and dads set to gain an hour in the
day but lose valuable sleep time!
Almost 2/3rds of parents find
their kids sleep patterns affected by clocks going back
Revealed, top five tips from real
parents for ultimate bedtime routine
81% of parents revealed that a
bedtime routine is highly important
New research into children’s sleep
patterns reveals that parents across Britain are in for an even tougher
battle to get their kids to sleep over the next few weeks following the
clocks going back (31st October).
Hallmark Cards questioned over
1,000 British mums and dads* with pre-school children to gain insight
into kiddies sleeping habits for the development of the new Forever
Friends bedtime storybook, Night, Night Sweet Dreams.
The research revealed over two
thirds of parents found a child’s bedtime and sleep routine is strongly
affected when clocks go back by disturbing the all important bedtime
routine, which eight out of ten parents highlight is the magic
ingredient for getting children to sleep. However, the rest of the year
isn’t all plain sailing into the land of nod with bedtime blues being a
key issue with over half of parents struggling to get their little one
to sleep on a daily basis.
Commenting on the research,
renowned children’s sleep expert and Channel 4 psychologist Chireal
Shallow said: “81% of parents feel that a bedtime routine is important,
and as they become more aware of the benefits of sleep to our children’s
health, they realise that developing a good sleep routine can have a
significant effect on the quality and amount of sleep achieved.
“It is key to keep your child’s
routine as regular as possible when the clocks go back as it can throw
sleep routines out of kilter- stick to the same time you begin your
bath, book and bed routine, and this will help you to stay on the right
path to slumber.”
So what are the key ingredients for
the perfect bedtime routine? Of 1,000 mums and dads with under fives
surveyed throughout the UK, the following came out as the most effective
ways to get their child to sleep, forming part of the ideal bedtime
routine. The top five are as follows:
A bedtime story- 56%
A bath before bed- 34%
A comforter/teddy bear- 31%
Going to the toilet before bed-
A dark room- 25%
Eight out of ten parents questioned
believe that a regular bedtime routine is extremely important, and
incorporating a bedtime book helps your child have a good night’s sleep.
Yet despite such a simple method proving so popular, almost 10% of those
parents questioned have never even read their child a bedtime story!
Chireal said: “A routine would not
be right without a bedtime storybook as it gives many parents the chance
to spend some quality time with their children and puts both you, and
your child in a good mood before bed. Such simple measures can make a
A lack of, or change in routine is
often the biggest offender in disturbing not only your child’s sleep,
but also your own as a parent. Over half the parents surveyed lose sleep
themselves as a direct result of getting their under fives to sleep,
filling them with frustration each night – with 8% of parents actually
highlighting their frustration went off the scale of 1-10!
Chireal continues: “A sleepless
child has a huge effect not only on parents but on the entire household.
Over a quarter of those questioned said that not only do they get
frustrated with their partners, but in fact the entire household peace
Jessica Alexander from The Sleep
Council says: “Bedtime blues, in both parents and children, can be
easily avoided with such simple steps. As well as a good bedtime
storybook and warm bath, parents should also ensure their child has
plenty of fresh air, exercise and a healthy diet. You should also try
and keep bedtime around the same time each evening- remember young
children don’t know when they are tired, so will try every excuse to
stop you from putting them to bed!”
For more hints and tips about
getting your child to sleep from The Sleep Council and Chireal visit
sure your child gets the best possible access to fresh air, exercise, a
healthy diet , a bedroom conducive to sleep and quiet time before bed
time should be around the same time each evening; if a child has an
established good sleep pattern it’s ok to let them stay up a little
later at weekends or on special occasions
toddler needs about 12 hours of sleep; children aged 4-6 about 10-11
hours; aged 6-12 around 10 hours a night, and teenagers 8-9 hours.
Establish a bedtime routine – teatime, followed by quiet play, bath,
story and bed would be typical. Remember, young children don’t know when
they are tired – they just get fractious!
Don’t expect your child to go straight to sleep on lights out – adults
Ensure a quiet environment for sleep: the room should be cool, quiet and
dark – and keep all those gadgets well separated from your child’s
sleeping zone from day one through to teenage years – if possible, not
in the bedroom at all!
sure your child has a comfortable bed and pillows – source suitable
products if your child is asthmatic or has skin allergies. A child will
probably need three beds: a cot up to 18months-3 years, their first beds
up to early teens and an adult bed for teen years
calm, stick to your routines and seek advice if your child’s not
sleeping well. Don’t forget, your anxiety could be picked up by them and
make matters worse.
first Forever Friends bear was initially lovingly created by Bath
artist, Deborah Jones, back in 1987. This quickly grew to become one of
the most successful greeting card designs. The popularity of the Forever
Friends bear has been overwhelming and now features on an array of other
products ranging from clothing, jewellery and mugs, to cuddly toys,
chart topping CDs and much, much more!
‘Night- Night, Sweet Dreams’
is written by Helen Ford and illustrated by Lizzie Walkley for Hallmark
Cards, and is available from Hallmark stores in the UK and
Ireland for £4.99 (€5.96).