Study: One in Three Marriages End Due to Baby Crying at Night

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It looks like a crying baby is more than just an annoyance, as some have been blamed for the falling apart of marriages.

Parents with young kids get an average of six hours of sleep a night, an hour less than what is recommended. But that number is even less for new parents.

Doctors say adults need at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep to function and concentrate the next day.

A recent survey of 2,000 parents found that, in one in three couples, the lack of sleep caused by babies resulted in their eventual divorce or separation.

Eleven percent of those surveyed also admitted to pretending to be asleep when their child started crying so that the other partner would deal with them.

And another eleven percent said they shut the door to block out the crying and nine percent turned up the television.

One in 20 parents also said they were so tired that they fell asleep behind the wheel.

The poll was part of an advice phone-in show called Bedtime Live.

Tanya Byron, a psychologists who appears on the show, said children often develop sleep problems due to their parents’ way of dealing with their nighttime crying.

“I see people whose children have chronic sleep problems and they’ll say things like their children get really upset if they try to send them to bed. Well, I promise you, they won’t hate you in the morning when they’ve had a proper rest. Our generation struggles with discipline much more than any other, but the lack of boundaries will only cause more and more difficulties,” she said.

“From a clinical perspective, a lot of those I see in my own clinics, predominantly children, have underlying issues with not getting enough sleep, even if that isn’t the problem they are presenting with.”

“Behavioural difficulties, family issues, learning and concentration issues: there is a significant number of these common problems which have poor sleep at the heart of it.”

A recent study also showed that parents who had a good night’s sleep saw an improvement in their relationships as they tended to act less selfish.

University of California found that couples who slept well were more likely to be polite to each other.