Caroline Flint

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Sleep is crucial to families say MPs

Cf_RW_The_Childrens_sleep_charity.jpgCaroline Flint and Rosie Winterton met Tickhill resident Vicki Dawson who leads a charity to help families improve their sleep.

Supported by the MPs, the Children’s Sleep Charity launched their ‘Sleep Manifesto' in Westminster, as part of Sleep Week in partnership with Netmums. The manifesto outlines the shocking impact that sleep deprivation is having on families’ emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

Caroline Flint and Rosie Winterton met Tickhill resident Vicki Dawson who leads a charity to help families improve their sleep.

Supported by the MPs, the Children’s Sleep Charity launched their ‘Sleep Manifesto' in Westminster, as part of Sleep Week in partnership with Netmums. The manifesto outlines the shocking impact that sleep deprivation is having on families’ emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

Ministers, health care professionals, charity CEO’s and educational representatives, gathered at Westminster to launch the campaign calling for recognition of the importance of sleep for family’s wellbeing and improved support.

Said Caroline Flint: “Vicki Dawson has done a remarkable job raising awareness of a problem that is so common, it almost goes un-noticed. Four in ten children have problems with sleep; and good quality sleep is vital for children to manage at school and for family wellbeing. It was a pleasure to support this charity and I hope Vicki’s efforts are rewarded.”

Said Rosie Winterton: “The Children’s Sleep Society has highlighted the problems that families face when children do not get a good night’s sleep. With eight in ten children with special needs suffering from sleep problems; and almost half of all children struggling with sleep problems, parents need to know where to turn for help and support. This is an issue that is finally breaking into the mainstream.

The manifesto has been produced by the award-winning Children’s Sleep Charity and calls for:

Better national understanding of the importance of sleep.
Quality sleep support available to families.
Sleep to be recognised as a vital component of mental health.

The proposed measures aim to address the stark findings of a major sleep survey of 2,500 Netmums users which found that sleep deprivation is having a serious impact on emotional, physical and mental health, with many families approaching crisis point:

Three quarters of parents say sleep deprivation affects their mental health.
40% of children and young people in the UK are currently affected by sleep issues. This figure rises to 80% for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Only a quarter of parents (26%) have ever sought expert help from a healthcare professional (such as GP or Health Visitor) about their child’s sleep. 13% of parents didn’t even realise professional help was available.

Speaking at Westminster, The Children’s Sleep Charity CEO Vicki Dawson, said, “Sleep has been hidden in the shadow for far too long yet good quality sleep has been evidenced as being vital for mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of the whole family. Now is the time to step out of the shadow and address the woeful lack of support available for children and young people with sleep issues across the country. Our key measures can support improved outcomes for families and the health service, sleep support can be hugely cost savings as our evidence can prove.”

Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation Jenny Edwards, CBE gave support to the manifesto " The Mental Health Foundation recognise sleep as vital for mental health. With one in three adults who suffer insomnia developing mental health conditions, establishing good quality sleep as early as possible for children and young people could help prevent this. We fully support the key measure in The Children’s Sleep Charity's manifesto and hope that everyone will join the calls to action.

The manifesto highlights the impact of sleep deprivation, with links to health conditions such as obesity and heart conditions, in addition to potential reduced educational attainment for children.

Backing yesterday’s proposals, Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East added his support to the Manifesto "“I’m delighted to be supporting a national charity who are highlighting this important issue at a national level. Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on the wellbeing of children and families and the work that The Children’s Sleep Charity carries out is innovative and of huge importance. I hope the manifesto helps to raise awareness about the importance of sleep and the need to offer support to families who are facing difficulties.”

The Children’s Sleep Charity is a national, award-winning charity supporting children with sleep issues. It provides support for families and accredited training for professionals and commercial organisations. www.thechildrenssleepcharity.org.uk
PHOTO SHOWS Caroline Flint and Rosie Winterton with Vicki Dawson.

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