10 Biggest Bedtime Battles And Children's Sleeping Habits

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10 Biggest Bedtime Battles And Children's Sleeping Habits

New research on children’s sleep habits and top 10 biggest bedtime battles

  • More than ½ million primary school children regularly awake ‘til midnight scrolling Tik Tok and gaming
  • 4 out of 5 primary school children (81%) are allowed their screens in their bedroom at night
  • 1 in 4 (26%) parents have found their ‘asleep’ child awake again gaming after 11pm
  • 1 in 5 parents (18%) resort to bribery to get their children to go to sleep
  • More than 1 in 4 parents (21%) seek out celebrity parent bedtime tips on the internet
  • 3 out of 4 young children in the UK (73%) have no set bedtime or bedtime routine
  • Nearly 1 in 4 (22%) under 5s have their phone in their bedroom at night

 

Young children allowed video games and phones in their bedrooms at night are over 40% more likely to regularly not be asleep before midnight, than children whose bedrooms are gadget-free. This is just one of the findings of new research we have commissioned, here at Bed Kingdom, to help reduce bedtime battles.


Our research found that 33% of young children allowed consoles and gadgets in their rooms at night are often not asleep before midnight - that equates to more than 500,000 regularly bleary-eyed young children. Whereas nearly 4 out of 5 (77%) whose bedrooms are screen-free at night are happily in the land of nod by that time. In fact, 2 out of 3 children (62%) whose bedrooms are screen-free at night are fast asleep well before 9pm.


So perhaps it’s not too surprising children allowed their gadgets in their room are 13% more likely to have problems getting up and out to go to school in the mornings.


Children allowed gadgets in their room at night are 14% more likely to have issues getting to sleep, than those whose bedrooms are a screen-free zone, according to our research. Indeed, more than 1 in 4 (26%) primary school age children have been found back awake and playing on games in their room after 11pm, long after they originally went to sleep.

 

Top 10 Tricks Tiny Terrors Try to Avoid Going to Sleep at Night – Is TiK Tok the modern comforter?

Our research also found that there is a core set of excuses young children in the UK trot out during bedtime battles. Tugging at heart strings comes out on top with the need for “an extra goodnight hug and kiss” topping the chart but, coming a very close second was “more time for Tik Tok”.

Chart Position Popularity of Child’s Excuses
1 Need another hug / cuddle / kiss / say goodnight again
2 Want to look at more online videos inc. TikTok, YouTube
3 Their brother / sister is keeping them awake
4 They are hungry / thirsty
5 There is something in the cupboard / under the bed
6 They want to keep playing Minecraft
7 They want to keep playing Roblox
8 They want to read more of their book
9 None of their friends go to bed until later, so it's not fair
10 They have stomach ache / feel ill

 

Children can use every trick in the book resulting in real bedtime battles. Our new research findings show some things done with the best intentions, may be making bedtimes more difficult so we want to share this information to help everyone get more restful nights.


Parents Resorting to Desperate Measures with their Sleep Deprived Children

  • When we analysed the research to see how we are trying to tackle our tired tiny terrors’ sleep avoidance tactics, we found parents also resorting to some tasty tricks.
  • More than 1 in 4 (27%) have claimed the WIFI is broken to get their child to put their screens down and close their eyes.
  • More than 1 in 4 (27%) have resorted to bribing their child to finally go to sleep.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) have tried celebrity parent bedtime tips scoured from the internet.

Bedtime Battles - Boys versus Girls

Our research also discovered some interesting differences between boys’ and girls’ approach to bedtime:

  • Girls are much more likely to have to stick to a set bedtime than boys – nearly 1 in 3 girls as opposed to fewer than 1 in 4 boys (31% as opposed to 23%) must do so. That’s 35% more likely.
  • Boys are 23% more likely than girls to be allowed their screens/games consoles in their rooms at night. (21% as opposed to 17%)
  • Boys are 18% more likely than girls to have been caught sneaking back on their screens in their rooms late at night, long after their parents believed they had gone to sleep.
  • Boys are 23% more likely than girls to sleep with a pet in their room at night (16% as opposed to 13%)

Parenting Around the Regions

Where children live in the country seems make quite a difference to how their parents handle their bedtime routines too:

  • Young children in Yorkshire are the most likely in Great Britain to have a bedtime set by their parents, whereas children in Wales are the least likely (49% as opposed to 13%).
  • Children in the East of England are the most likely in the country to be allowed their phones in their bedrooms at night and children in Wales are the least likely (1 in 3 - 33% as opposed to 1 in 10 - 10%).
  • Parents in the East of England are most likely to have resorted to bribing their children to go to sleep. Parents in the West Midlands are the least likely (29% as opposed to 9%)
  • Parents in the North West are most likely to have turned to celebrity parenting bedtime tips to try to get their children to go to bed, and the those in the North East were least likely (35% as opposed to 13%).

Our independent research was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents of children aged 0-11 by OnePoll (15-23 September 2022).

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