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24 April 2017

Northern Irish parents woken five times a night by unsettled children

​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.

The survey polled over 1,000 families on bedtime routines and sleeping habits and revealed 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 per cent eating poorly, 24 per cent nodding off during the day and 34 per cent taking a knock to their sense of humour.

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.”

Liz Canning, National Development Manager - Northern Ireland 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, so we’re sending out 36,000 copies of our Bath, Book, Bed booklet via Health Visiting teams and Sure Starts filled with advice and tips to help families 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 bathbookbed.org.uk to register for tips, advice and recommended bedtime books. Get involved on social media @booktrust #bathbookbed

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