“But there’s a monster under my bed!” Many parents will be all too familiar with this bedtime-stalling statement. And now sleep experts at Silent Night have carried out extensive national research to confirm what we have always suspected; it is perfectly normal for children to feel scared and unsave at bedtime and crave a little extra reasurrance from their grown ups. According to this brand new research most children, around one in six, are afraid of monsters under the bed while almost a quarter are scared of the dark.

Another common night time fear includes not wanting to sleep alone and being scared of bangs in the night. The research also revealed that the average primary school aged child wakes up twice a night, getting between seven and eight hours sleep. Just 18% get the recommended ten hours of sleep required for children aged four to eleven, meaning that on average kids are losing out on 14 hours of sleep per week.

The results show more than four in five kids aged between four and eleven years old (81%) suffer from bedtime anxiety; which is a fear or worry about going to sleep. Nearly one in five children (19%) have nightmares; with the same number fearful of sleeping alone. Worries about school impact around 14% of children, with the fear of bullies or being bullied keeping 15% up at night.

To help make bedtime routines as easy as possible, and to alleviate bedtime anxiety, Silentnight has partnered with children’s coaching expert Natalie Costa, to develop a Sleep Guide for Kids, aimed at parents and teachers. Natalie said: “It can be frustrating and distressing for parents if their child is waking up in the night, or if they are scared of going to sleep. “The good news for parents is that there’s lots of things they can do to take the stress out of bedtime and help kids feel more settled and adapt into a routine. For more sleep advice, visit Silentnight’s sleep guide for kids:

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.

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