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1 in 4 Parents Say Their Child Gets Less Than Nine Hours Of Sleep Per Night

 A new study has discovered a quarter of parents with children aged 6 to 13 years old state their little ones get less than nine hours of sleep per night, the minimum requirement for their age group as advised by the Sleep Foundation. In fact, the research revealed the average child sleeps for just seven-and-a-half hours, missing out on an hour and a half per night – the equivalent of 547.5 hours of sleep lost per year.

New research into children's sleep patterns has found that a quarter of parents confess their school-aged children get less than the recommended amount of sleep per night, clocking up an average of just seven-and-a-half hours of shut-eye per night compared to the recommended nine to thirteen hours. Over a year, this suggests that a quarter of school children are missing out on 547.5 hours – that's 61 nights – of sleep.

Hillarys (www.hillarys.co.uk) commissioned the poll as part of ongoing research into UK households. 2,952 British parents took part in the research, all of whom had children aged between six and thirteen years old. The parents remained anonymous for the purpose of the study.

First, respondents were asked, "Does your child usually get between nine and thirteen hours of sleep per night?" to which 25% of parents stated that their child gets less than the minimum Sleep Foundation recommendation for the age group (nine hours), while 73% stated that their child did achieve that amount of sleep and 2% stated that their youngster(s) slept for more than thirteen hours per night.

Of the parents who said their children got less than nine hours of sleep per night, the average sleep their children got was seven-and-a-half hours per night; an hour and a half less than recommended every night. This is equivalent to 10.5 hours per week and 547.5 hours per year, which equates to around 61 nights.

The same parents were then asked why their child got less sleep than is recommended, to which they said their child 'takes a long time to settle and go to sleep' (79%) and 'wakes up several times during the night' (56%). The survey also revealed a third of these parents (32%) blamed the sleep-deprivation of their children on 'noise and disturbances in the neighbourhood', and a fifth (18%) confessed that they allowed their child 'to stay up later than they should'.

These parents were finally asked to share any problems they experienced as a result of their child having less sleep than recommended, to which the following top five complaints were revealed:

1. My child is often grumpy and moody – 74%
2. My child's school performance suffers – 61%
3. My child struggles to concentrate or focus – 59%
4. My child is lethargic during the day – 58%
5. My child does not play well with other children – 47%

Emma Gillings, spokesperson for www.hillarys.co.uk, said:

"Many parents may not realise just how much sleep their children need – the standard 8 hours for adults does not apply to children. Clearly, the children and the parents all suffer from a lack of sleep and this could actually have lasting effects, such as with their school work.

"Keeping a calm and relaxed bedtime routine is essential to making sure your child gets a good night of sleep. It might be easier said than done, but it's worth sticking to. Simple common-sense things, like making sure the room is the right temperature, removing stimuli like tablets or phones and making sure there is as little light as possible in the room, can make a real difference."

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