FOR PARENTS, any chance to spend quality time with their children during the day is special, but according to new research, bedtime has been voted one of the best and most magical times of a parent’s day.
We commissioned a survey of 1,000 UK parents of children under 16, revealing that nearly 1 in 3 (29%) parents say bedtime is their favourite time of the day with their children – perhaps reflecting when we feel closest to our family members.
When asked what makes bedtime so special, 40% say it’s due to having one-to-one time before bed. For 25% of parents, having the chance to spend time with their children without any external distractions makes bedtime a magical part of the day, while for nearly 1 in 5, they enjoy screen-free time and a chance to forget phones and tablets exist.
To help their children wind down for bed, 45% of parents will even prevent their kids from using electronic devices in the hour before bed, while more than half (51%) make sure bedtime is a sugar-free zone by not allowing them to eat sweets or have fizzy drinks.
When asked what they feel the issues are when it comes to kids using electronic devices before bed, a staggering 68% say their child will struggle to switch off and have an overactive brain, while 41% say the blue light can affect their children’s body clock.
For nearly 1 in 3 (30%) parents, it’s as simple as tech affecting the quality time they get to spend with their children, which results in them abandoning electrical devices before bed to ensure their sleep doesn’t suffer.
The research further revealed what parents felt were their fondest bedtime memories from their own childhood, with nearly 1 in 3 saying goodnight kisses and cuddles were a highlight – showing how much people of all ages appreciate quality time with their loved ones.
Looking at the return of traditional bedtimes, another top highlight for parents was being read stories and sharing family-favourite books together (29%), while for 22%, their parents took it one step further by making up their own magical stories for them.
Lucy Shrimpton, The Sleep Nanny shares her insights on the new research revealed: “I love this finding! As a mother of two, I couldn’t agree more that bedtime is a special time of day and getting to have a little one-to-time with each child is precious as well as being a moment for connection.
“Making bedtime a screen-free time is very important, especially because the blue light on electronic devices affects the body’s ability to prepare for sleep by blocking the melatonin hormone which is what triggers sleep. Instead, bedtime stories with parents are special and can be a great way to engage the imagination of a child, giving them something positive to settle to sleep with. Creating an environment that supports a positive attitude towards settling to sleep can be really helpful so, consider pictures, decor and bedding that encourage a child to look forward to bedtime.
“I love Happy Linen Company’s bedding range because the designs offer factually correct topics and themes to spark the imagination and conversations or stories between parent and child. A bedtime story about an adventure through space for example leaves a child going to sleep whilst processing new learnings about the planets. A child’s cognitive development depends upon healthy sleep, so the bedding designs have a dynamic part to play in supporting children’s sleep too!”
Lucy Knight, Head of Product at Happy Linen Company “While bedtime can come with certain stresses if your kids are wide awake and not ready to go to sleep, it’s clear that the quality time that comes with it completely outweighs any negatives, as parents across the nation vote it as one of their favourite times of the day.
“By limiting the use of electronic devices before bed and cutting out any other distractions which prevent your child from switching off and being ready to wind down, such as sugary foods, this will mean bedtime can be a calm and relaxing time of the day where you can make the most of quality time together.”