25th April 2016
Sleep deprivation is a growing concern among young Britons as 56% of children are getting on average just eight hours sleep per night. This is less than the recommended sleep that they should be getting in order to help them grow and function effectively at school[1]. This could be due to the fact that 45% of children don’t follow a fixed bedtime routine. These findings have been revealed in a new sleep study out today by Travelodge.     

 

The hotel chain surveyed 1,500 children aged between eight to fifteen years old. Key findings revealed that due to not having a fixed bed time routine, 78% of British children feel shattered at school due to irregular sleep patterns. Experts say this can be extremely detrimental to a child’s health and wellbeing in the long term.

 

The report also revealed that three quarters (75%) of children have not been taught the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. A third (33%) of young Britons stated that they don’t know what happens to their body whilst they are sleeping.

 

Further research findings revealed that 60% of children feel more grown up if they stay up longer. In order to delay going to bed, a quarter of young Britons offer to do household chores such as washing up after dinner. Over half, (55%) strike up a conversation with their parents so that they can stay up late.

 

Interestingly three out of ten (30%) parents allow their children to stay up longer on a school night as a reward if they have been good or as a bargaining tool.  

Dr Pat Spungin, child psychologist & family life specialistsaid: "I agree there is very little information available to parents about the importance of a good night's sleep. Parents should be concerned about the effects of sleep deprivation on their children, 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.”

“Scientific evidence shows that adequate night-time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and regular exercise for children to develop.  With lack of sleep linked to poor academic performance, behavioural problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obesity, these research findings are alarming.”

The sleep study also revealed when British children go to the land of nod, they are dreaming of becoming an astronaut like Tim Peake, a footballer like Harry Kane, a business magnate like Alan Sugar, an internet tycoon like Mark Zuckerberg, or a singer like Adele.

 

Listed below are the top ten most popular dreams children are having:

1.     Being an astronaut

2.     Being a footballer

3.     Being a celebrity

4.     Being an singer

5.     Being an internet tycoon

6.     Being a inventor

7.     Being a lottery winner

8.     Being a businessperson/entrepreneur

9.     Being a vet or doctor

10.   Being a video game creator

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said: “A lot of parents worry how their children will sleep when they travel. Following customer feedback we have removed the traditional sofa bed and, introduced new individual beds for children in family rooms across our 527 UK hotels.  The new cosy beds are a big hit with children and provide the perfect launch pad to enter the land of nod and attain a good night’s sleep.”      

Listed below are Travelodge’s tips to help parents ensure their children are getting a good night’s sleep:

1. Establish a regular time for bed each night and do not vary from it

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, give your child a warm bath or shower

3. Make bedtime fun – read your child a story

4. Do not give your child any food or drinks with caffeine prior to bedtime

5. Avoid giving your child a large meal before bedtime

6. Make after dinner playtime a relaxing time as too much activity close to bedtime can keep children awake

7. Exercise should be included in your child’s day to help them sleep well

8. There should be no TV or music playing while your child is going to sleep

9. Ensure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable

10. Make sure the noise level in the house is low    

 

-Ends-

For further information, please contact:
The Travelodge Press office at: 01844 358 703 Email: pressoffice@travelodge.co.uk

Notes to editors:
The sleep study was conducted by Travelodge with a sample group of 1,500 children aged between eight to fifteen years old. The research was conducted in December 2015.