How does your child’s sleep problem affect you and your family?

The Children’s Sleep Charity undertook a survey on our behalf asking parents how sleep deprivation had affected their lives. We read these answers and thought they should be published in full.

It was for very similar reasons Tina created Snuggle Sacs and also why Vicki established The Sleep Charity, so we do understand how fundamental these issues are.

How does your child’s sleep problem affect you and your family?

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Comments:

“I feel useless, like it’s my fault. I was forced into medical retirement at the age of 43 after suffering sleep deprivation induced psychosis”.

Does your child wake during the night?

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How often are you out of bed during the night to respond to your child?

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What kind of support would you like to receive for your child’s sleep issue one to one sleep clinic, online support etc?

  • One to one = 33
  • Sleep Clinic = 22
  • Online = 26
  • Any kind of help = 14
  • 24 hour telephone support = 5
  • Peer support/support group = 5
  • Somebody to spend a week with the family = 2
  • Multiple children advice = 2
  • Respite = 2
  • Family = 1
  • GP = 1
  • Facebook support = 1

Please add anything else that you feel it is important to share around how sleep deprivation has impacted on your life and the support that is required in England and Wales to ensure other families don’t suffer.

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  • We are unable to function as a united family as someone is always trying to catch up on sleep.
  • I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over 8 years and my own health is deteriorating because of it.
  • Other people seem to conveniently forget you are still doing it because it looks like you are coping.
  • It has made me feel inadequate as a mother and feel others judge me. It’s made me less likely to socialise.
  • Day entails driving which with sleep deprivation is not safe.
  • I am at breaking point.
  • My marriage is suffering.
  • My relationship with my daughters suffers.
  • I feel that I am a terrible mum.
  • I hate myself for who I have become.
  • I am exhausted.
  • Medicine doesn’t work.
  • We have no respite care.
  • People say all children don’t sleep. That is a total lie to assuage their own conscience.
  • Stopped me bonding with my child, PND; burden on close family.
  • My relationship has suffered greatly.
  • Strangely, it’s making my ability to actually fall asleep harder.
  • I’m not the mum I want to be, and my husband isn’t the dad he wants to be. We feel that because we are so tired, we’re permanently irritable towards both our children, even though it’s only 1 of them causing the deprivation.
  • People don’t recognise how much lack of sleep affects your life. I feel I’m often perceived as a moaning parent rather than someone who needs help.
  • I have survived a non-sleeping child for 4 years. From ages 0-2 I struggled to keep going and hold down my job. Support was non-existent despite the fact that sleep is so important for children and parents.
  • I would welcome any new services that can help other parents survive.
  • It has impacted on all aspects of our life.
  • People do not understand or take it seriously enough.
  • It should be part of the Health Visitor training and commissioned through local authorities as the cost would be minimal in comparison to the benefits.