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Sleep deprivation taking a toll on parents

Kat says Charlie hardly ever sleeps through the night Photo: ITV West Country

New research shows more than a third of parents say they're regularly sleep deprived - and more than a fifth claim it's taking a toll on their relationships

There's a physical and mental toll taken on parents whose children fail to sleep through the night.

Kat Murphy is woken up in the night like this multiple times a week.

Sometimes he's very upset and I can't get through to him, it's like he's just being unresponsive. If I try and touch him he lashes out and it's really scary sometimes.

– Kat Murphy
Kat doesn't know what's stopping Charlie from getting a good nights sleep Credit: ITV West Country

The family say they've barely had a whole night's sleep since Charlie was born four years ago.

Kat says, "you come to a point where you actually dread going to bed because you know you're going to be up and you don't know how many times you're going to be up."

Charlie's inability to sleep properly means Kat is constantly tired Credit: ITV West Country

On some nights he's up as many as seven times.

23%
parents who say sleep deprivation is taking a toll on their mental health

With almost a quarter of parents saying they think a lack of sleep has impacted on their own wellbeing - experts are now calling for more training for medical professionals - to help them understand sleep patterns.

I think sleep is quite a new discipline. You know, it's something we've only started to understand in the last 100 years and I think therefore is probably not as well ingrained in training with health professionals.

We can live longer without food than we can without sleep. That is how important it is but yet, society doesn't seem to see it with that importance.

– James Wilson, The Children's Sleep Charity

Charlie is now getting help from a consultant - in the hope of finding a medical solution to his disturbed sleep - as well as a solution to help the whole of his family - finally get a good night's rest.