Channel 4 News conducted a survey of 2,000 couples with children getting an average of six hours or less of sleep per night. Of those surveyed, 30 percent blamed sleepless nights from a crying infant as a contributing factor to their break up.
The sleep poll was commissioned as groundwork for a new UK series called Bedtime Live where parents can call in and seek advice. Professor Tanya Byron, a clinical psychologist, will be taking part on the show.
Chronic sleeping issues affect parents as they suffer the consequences of sleepless babies.
Based on the information gathered, one in three marriages on average ended in divorce or separation due to the screams of an infant in the middle of the night. Parents admitted the presence of a new child put an extraordinary strain on their relationship, further exasperated by a lack of adequate rest.
Several people acknowledged acting out in passive-aggressive ways in order to deal with the late night disturbances, thus creating additional conflict.
Nearly 11 percent admitted to pretending to sleep when their child woke up, waiting out their partner with their eyes firmly shut in hopes the other would deal with the situation.
Another 11 percent responded to the wailing infant by shutting the bedroom door and returning to bed. Nine percent stated they increased the volume on the television in hopes of tuning out the noise.
Inconsistent or interrupted sleep caused irritability and exhaustion. One in 20 confessed to nodding off behind the wheel or closing their eyes for mere moments while driving.
Sleep experts insist people minimally need five uninterrupted hours of sleep in order to function and concentrate effectively. Ideally people should get at least seven. However, the survey numbers reflected nearly two-thirds were not getting enough rest and a third suffered from insomnia.
Having children can create stress in a relationship or marriage because their care requires more responsibility. Caring for children can provoke disagreement and strain between couples when defining parenting roles. Many couples suffer from a reduced libido, irritability, and frustration from a lack of sleep and lack of personal time.
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