A survey confirms what many new parents have already experienced: a crying baby and sleepless nights can have a detrimental effect on your marriage and your health.
The survey carried out by Channel 4 for a new parent and child series that focuses on sleep-related issues, found that the average new parent slept less than six hours a night, and one in three new parents said sleep deprivation was a factor in the breakdown of their relationship.
Psychologist Tanya Byron, who is among a panel of experts taking part in the series, Bedtime Live, said: “I see people whose children have chronic sleep problems, and they'll say things like their children get really upset if they try to send them to bed. Well, I promise you, they won't hate you in the morning when they've had a proper rest. Our generation struggles with discipline much more than any other, but the lack of boundaries will only cause more and more difficulties."
Ms Bryon added that tests conducted on mothers who functioned on far less than the optimal amount of sleep highlighted a serious concern: "Those without sleep were just as dangerous as those who had been drinking.”
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