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Press releases

BRITISH PARENTS IN DESPERATE NEED FOR SLEEP SCHOOLING

4th Sep 2007


As schools re-open this week across the UK for a new academic year, 49% of parents will be struggling to get their children back to a school sleeping routine. On average it will take them seven days to revert their kids back to an 'early to bed programme'. These findings have been revealed today in a sleep schooling study by Travelodge.

The poll of 3000 parents also identified that 42% of adults don't know how much sleep their children should be getting and on average 44% of parents are sending their children to bed between 9pm - 12:00am on a school night. Fifty four per cent of respondents said that parents should be given advice on sleep education for their children. In addition 75% of parents that participated in the study worry about the effects, sleep deprivation has on their children's behaviour and performance at school.

One in five parents said they are constantly arguing with their children over bed time and 47% of parents confirmed in the study that the subject of 'going to bed' causes chaos in their household.

Nine per cent of respondents from the research use 'staying up after bedtime' as a bargaining tool to get their children to help with household chores, with the most popular being: washing up, cleaning their room or eating vegetables.

However 65% of parents confirmed that their cheeky children have a list of excuses that they will use to negotiate extra 'staying up time'. The top five excuses being:

1. I have waited ages, to watch this TV programme
2. I have got homework to do
3. I need to have a bath / shower
4. I am hungry or thirsty
5. I want to read for longer

Parenting expert, Dr Pat Spungin, said "I agree there is very little information available to parents about the importance of a good night's sleep. Parents who worry about the effects of sleep deprivation on their children are right to do so, as lack of sleep has a negative effect on a child's mood, concentration and attention. Research also shows that children who are sleep deprived do less well academically, show more problem behaviour and have lower levels of social skills".

A whopping 87% of parents from the research think children nowadays go to bed later than they did as children. Furthermore, 75% of adults agreed that sleeping patterns that are endorsed during childhood affect your perception and importance of sleep in adulthood.

Further findings revealed that more than one in ten parents don't take responsibility for ensuring their children go to bed at a decent time each day. Twenty three per cent of parents would happily go to sleep first if their children were refusing to go to bed.

Leigh McCarron, Travelodge Sleep Director said: "It's vital that parents teach their children the importance of sleep as part of their development. Educating the importance of sleep at a young age will help establish a good sleeping habit into adulthood which will help individuals cope with the stresses and stains of modern life".

The study also revealed that children's bedrooms are changing from places of rest and tranquillity to places where there are lots of things to keep them awake. Fifty three per cent of respondents said their children have a TV, DVD player, and games console in their bedroom. Thirty eight per of cent of respondents also confirmed that they do not read their children a bed time story.

Listed below is Travelodge, Sleep Director's sleeping tips to help parents ensure their children are getting a good night's sleep in preparation for the new school year.

Children Sleeping Guidelines:

Age Night-Time sleep
2 years 10.5 to 12.5 hours
3 years 10.5 to 12.5 hours
4 years 10 to 12 hours
5 years 10 to 12 hours
6 years 10 to 11.5 hours
7 to 11 years 9.5 to 11.5 hours

Top tips to ensure your children are getting a good night's sleep

- Establish a regular time for bed each night and do not vary from it
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine, give your child a warm bath/shower
- Make bedtime fun - read a story to your child
- Do not give your child any food or drinks with caffeine prior to bedtime
- Avoid giving your child large meals close to bedtime
- Make after-dinner playtime a relaxing time as too much activity close to bedtime can keep children awake
- Exercise should be included in your child's day to help them sleep well
- There should be no TV or music playing while your child is going to sleep
- Ensure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable
- Make sure the noise level in the house is low
- Infants and children should be put to bed when they appear tired but still awake rather than falling asleep in a parents arms, or in another room
- Tuck your child in with their blanket, teddy bear or some other thing that makes them feel secure.

For further information, please contact:
Shakila Ahmed
Travelodge PR Manager
T: 01844 35 8638

Notes to Editor
- The sleep schooling study was conducted by One Poll in August 2007 amongst 3000 parents who have children attending primary school
- Dr Pat Spungin is a child psychologist and founder of the UK's leading parenting website Raisingkids.co.uk. A parenting skills expert, she is the author of the Haynes Teenage Manual, published June 2007, The Parentalk Guide to Brothers and Sisters (2005) and is currently working on a book on children's sleep. Pat was the consultant editor to Understanding Your Family in the TimeLife MINDPOWER series and has written and broadcast extensively on all aspects of family life. Previously she was a University Lecturer in Child Psychology

About Travelodge
Travelodge became the first budget hotel company to launch in the UK when it opened the Barton-under-Needwood Travelodge in Staffordshire in 1985. Travelodge currently has 320 hotels (over 20,000 rooms) - nine in Ireland, three in Spain and rest in the UK. Hotels are conveniently located in city centres, near attractions, airports and at the roadside. The chain plans to have 1000 hotels in the UK by 2020 and be the biggest hotel company in London by the 2012 Olympics. New Travelodges opening this year include: Heathrow Terminal 4 & 5, London Euston, London City Road, Eastbourne, Holyhead, Blackpool and Windsor.

Six and a half million people stayed with Travelodge in 2006 and 83% of reservations are made online at travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start from just 15 per room, per night. Travelodge offers double, disabled-access or family rooms (catering for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16). All rooms are en-suite, with luxury king size beds, colour TV and free tea and coffee-making facilities.

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