A new survey has revealed that more than two in five (44%) parents struggle to fall asleep every night and three in four (72%) are so desperate, they’ll try to sneak a nap in during the day.
The survey of 2,000 American parents of children ages 18 and under has found that for 46%, their kids are the main reason they can never fall or stay asleep. In fact, 33% of parents say putting their child/children to bed is their biggest sleep routine challenge.
While the average parent puts their children to bed between 8:00-9:00 PM, they typically don’t go to bed themselves for at least two more hours. Oftentimes, parents said they’re kept up by their kids playing — either with a screen (43%) or with toys (41%).
Thirty-nine percent of parents said if their child is up past bedtime, they can’t fall asleep until the child is also asleep.
And when children are sick, on average parents will stay up three to four hours more over the course of the night than they usually would. To combat this, more than half (54%) of co-parents have worked out a system to trade shifts during the night to take care of their child.
Commissioned by Sealy and conducted by OnePoll, the study found that 68% of parents have had their nighttime routine change drastically over the past two years as their children have gotten older.
For at least half (56%), nighttime routines have been further shifted due to the pandemic. Looking to summer, more than three quarters (76%) agreed that their family’s sleep schedule also changes with the summer break.
While one in five (20%) said their favorite parental task is putting their children to bed, 56% of parents have ended up asleep somewhere other than bed because their child has kept them up all night.
In fact, respondents reported falling asleep in places such as while at work, the kitchen table, while getting a haircut or simply on the floor next to their child.
Waking up someplace other than their bed adds a further issue for parents experiencing a lack of sleep, as 67% said the result is that they wake up sore.
“Sleep is an essential function that allows our body and mind to recharge – it is critical to our overall health and well-being. For parents, getting a full night of rest can be especially elusive,” said Brent Pfister, Vice President of Marketing, Sealy.
Sleep is so elusive for many parents, in fact, that 56% would even consider hiring a babysitter to handle the bedtime routine, just so they can stay in and have alone time either with themselves or with their significant other.
The challenges that come from a lack of sleep have led parents to report moodiness, forgetfulness, dozing off during the day, missing an exit while driving, putting things away where they don’t belong, and more.
One respondent even recalled accidentally putting plates in the washing machine instead of the dishwasher.
In addition, lack of sleep appears to lead parents to struggle with common morning tasks, such as leaving the house without forgetting something (54%) and getting themselves or their children ready in the morning (43% and 33% respectively).
Just to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep, respondents said they have completely given up on tasks like preparing a decent breakfast (40%), packing themselves a lunch (36%) and ironing their clothes (35%).
“At Sealy, we believe everyone - parents and children alike – need a great night of sleep, and our goal is to help set up the right foundation to make that possible so that they can make the most of the hours of sleep they do get,” continued Pfister, Sealy.
HOW DO KIDS KEEP THEIR PARENTS UP AT NIGHT?
- Coming to my bed at night - 43%
- Using their screens (tablets, watching TV, playing video games) - 43%
- Playing with toys - 41%
- Reading books - 33%
- Crying, up for nighttime feedings, etc. - 29%
- Hanging out late with friends - 20%
- Homework - 17%
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