For national coverage like this call us on 020 3735 8766



BAD BEDTIME: One in ten primary school children don’t go to bed until after 10pm

  • The survey found that 55 percent of parents are desperately trying to establish a bedtime routine for their little ones

A study has revealed the shocking extent to which modern parents are losing the battle of bedtime, with half saying it is the most stressful time of the day.

Some 55 percent are trying desperately to establish a bedtime routine, but almost the same amount (51 percent) say that bedtime is when their blood boils the most.

In fact, the average parent loses 7.9 hours sleep a week, equating to 52 nights a year, because their children refuse to go to sleep.

While 79 percent of the 2,000 parents surveyed say they prefer their children to be in bed at or before 8pm, the reality is as many as 58 percent are going to bed after this – with one in ten going to bed after 10pm every night.

The study reveals it takes a further 43 minutes (average) after teeth and stories to get children to settle properly and go to sleep, with the research revealing the average bedtime includes three bedtime stories, two tantrums, four kisses goodnight, two claims of illness and another two shouts for parents to rearrange sheets.

Overall, parents make three trips back to their child’s bedroom after lights out and children get back out of bed three times, which inevitably leads to arguments between mum and dad. And according to the poll around four in ten children (38 percent) will get up again during the night.

It’s no surprise that this leads to a lack of sleep, which 48 percent of parents confess makes them feel miserable.

Almost half (47 percent) say it makes them bad tempered and 27 percent worry about the effect it has on their relationship. The figures have been released to mark the launch of Disney Junior UK’s new Parenting Hacks podcast, hosted by Helen Skelton, which brings together parents, experts and special guests to explore tips, tricks and ways to support busy parents.

Parenting expert Dr Claire Halsey, who worked in conjunction with Disney Junior UK in the creation of the Parenting Hacks podcast, said: “We all know how stressful it can be getting our children to go to sleep, and this can have an effect on our own bedtime routine.

“However, there are ways to help settle your child, so they feel peaceful and calm during this important time of the day, which in turn allows you more time to relax and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.

“The key factor is finding a routine and sticking to it, and there’s some great tips, tricks and guidance in picking up the right habits both in the podcast and in Disney Junior’s ongoing TV programming for pre-schoolers.”

TV personality and Disney Junior UK podcast host Helen Skelton said: “I have been blessed with two beautiful children but as anyone with two little boys under the age of four will tell you they can be a handful!

“Bedtime as you can imagine with the two being the age they are can be stressful, both in getting them down and during the night. The new Disney Junior UK Parenting Hackspodcast is aimed at helping all those parents who have similar challenges and, in the episodes, to come we’ll be tackling and giving some more tips and tricks on a range of other topics to help busy parents.”

David Levine, General Manager, Disney Channels UK & Ireland comments: “Disney Junior UK understands that being a parent can be stressful at times, and we are thrilled to launch Disney Junior UK’s first ever podcast, which will explore parenting hacks to make life that little bit easier. It’s fantastic that TV shows such as PJ Masks can spark conversations around everyday problems that ordinarily may be difficult for parents and children, and in turn offer support by showing solutions.”

61 percent of parents reckon that bedtime is much harder now than when they were kids, with men finding bedtime more stressful than women – 17 percent say that it is a strain “every night” compared to 12 percent of women.

Regionally, Brighton and Liverpool are bedtime trouble hotspots, with parents losing 10 hours of sleep a week thanks to their troublesome bedtimes, whereas Sheffield is the calm capital with parents only losing six hours of sleep.

The podcast is available to download on iTunes from today.