WINNING THE BATTLE OF BEDTIME – An important new TV Programme

Is your child sleep-deprived? Do they have problems getting to sleep? Does your toddler wake up often during the night? Is your teen addicted to the screen? Watch Channel 4 at 8 p.m. every Tuesday starting on 19th March for the next few weeks and find out the problems – and some of the solutions.

Professor Tanya Byron and the Bedtime Live team have the skills and experience to help get the nation’s kids and teens to bed.

Any you can contribute to the show if you are prepared to answer a few questions online. Here’s what Channel 4 say:

Are you the parent or carer of a child with sleeping problems?

We’d like to ask you some questions about the child who has the most trouble getting to sleep in your house.

The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete. We won’t ask you for personal details, but we may share overall findings from the survey anonymously on Bedtime Live.

Thanks very much for taking part and contributing to the TV show in this way.

Take the Sleep Survey

As any parents of a young child who is a problem sleeper will confirm, permanent tiredness and constant irritability can put a huge strain on your relationship. In fact, according to a survey, lack of sleep is a big factor in divorce and separation for a third of couples. Snoring causes the same problems as we all well know – either by you or your partner. Add sleepless children to the mix and it’s even more of a problem.

Ahead of a new series on the subject, a poll carried out for Channel 4 suggests the average parent surveyed got fewer than six hours of sleep a night. It also found that three in 10 couples that had split up said sleep deprivation since having their child was a factor in the breakup. Nearly 45% said they had dozed off in a place they shouldn’t have or was unsafe, with one in 20 admitting to falling asleep at the wheel of their car.

Children waking throughout the night, as well as the struggle to get children off to bed at a respectable hour, were equally important issues for parents. Nearly half of the 2,000 people questioned said getting their child to sleep at a consistent time was a nightly battle.

The key to establishing an age-appropriate bedtime was to look at what time children needed to get up and work backwards from that. If you refer to the NHS guidelines they state that youngsters aged between three and five need 11 hours of sleep, 10-year-olds need 10 hours, and 14-year-olds nine hours. Sleep needs remain just as vital for teenagers as for younger children, and scientists have been moving towards the view that they should start their day a little later than younger children to allow their brains to fully wake up. But social pressures and the lure of tablets, phones and Facebook keep many up way past their recommended bedtimes.

Tune in – it’s compulsive – and important. It may save your marriage in the same way as stopping snoring does. It’s all about a good night’s sleep.
By John Redfern