Belfast Telegraph

Parents encouraged to make reading part of bedtime routine

By Rachel Martin

New parents in Northern Ireland have the longest wait for their restless children to settle at bedtime compared to their counterparts across the UK.

Children under three also wake the region's mums and dads five times a night on average - more than anywhere else in the UK. Parents here are also the most likely to give up exercise as a result of lack of sleep.

The survey polled over 1,000 families with children aged three and under, and found that half of parents who don't follow a bath, book, bed routine would favour a night of uninterrupted sleep over romantic weekends and nights out with friends.

Across the UK, new parents lose out on just under 660 hours of sleep a year and one in five confessed they have taken days off work just to catch up on lost sleep.

The findings come as BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity, launch its night-time reading campaign. Backed by 'Supernanny' Jo Frost, 'Bath, Book, Bed' encourages parents to make stories part of the bedtime routine.

The Moore family from Glengormley - mum Anna, dad Phil, Ava (15 months) and Leo (4) - trialled it and say it is now an important part of their day.

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