The secret to a great night's sleep

How to stop the clocks going back affecting your child’s sleep

This Sunday sees the clocks turning back an hour to mark the start of British winter time. For many parents, this also means disruption to their child's sleeping pattern and an extra challenge to ensure they still get their recommended 10 hours sleep.

A simple way to beat the clock, is changing your child's bedtime now.

Starting tonight, put your child to bed 20 minutes later than usual to help them slowly adjust to the change. Do this each night to Sunday so when Monday morning arrives, the new time zone won't be as much of a shock to their system.

Earlier this month, we conducted a report with the University of Leeds looking into the sleep of British children aged 6 - 11. We found that many children in this age group get as little as seven hours of sleep a night - despite the NHS recommendation of ten hours. A staggering 83 per cent were also found to be awake by 6.30am on a weekday, despite five per cent still being awake at 10pm the night before.

As well as poor sleep routines, our research found technology to be a key factor in lack of sleep amongst children, even from the age of six. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, emphasises the need for children to be in a routine where they do not need to catch up at weekends.

Dr Nerina said: "Ideally all children and adults should be in a routine when it comes to bedtime, so there shouldn't be any need to catch up at weekends, but our recent report with the University of Leeds found British children are simply not getting enough sleep."

Read the full findings our research here.

Do you feel the need to catch up on sleep on you precious weekends? Join the conversation on Twitter @silentnightbeds.

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