A survey conducted by Channel 4 links sleep deprivation to divorce, with one in three divorced parents saying a lack of sleep caused by their children was a factor in their break up.
Caring for a child who is a problem sleeper often leads to sleepless nights for the parents, causing extreme tiredness and constant irritability. This can put a huge strain on any marriage. According to the survey, not getting enough sleep was a big factor in divorce for a third of couples.
The poll revealed that the average parent surveyed got less than six hours sleep a night. Three in 10 divorced couples admitted that a lack of sleep since having children was a factor in their separation. On top of this, almost 45% of respondents said they had fallen asleep in places they shouldn’t have, with one in 20 admitting they had dozed off at the wheel of a car.
Parents said that trying to get children to sleep and dealing with them as they woke up throughout the night was another important issue. Almost half of the 2,000 people surveyed admitted that trying to get their children to sleep at a consistent time each night is a constant battle.
About 11% of respondents said they often pretend to be asleep in the night, forcing their partners to deal with the crying child.
Psychologist Tanya Byron says children’s sleeping problems should not be blamed on parents; rather that family downtime is being reduced due to work demands and new technologies, which results in sleep loss.
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