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Stressed mums and dads have lost three whole days of sleep since schools closed

Britain’s stressed-out mums and dads have lost the equivalent of three whole days of sleep since the schools closed earlier this year, research has revealed.

As half term kicks off for millions of kids, a survey of 1,000 parents showed how they had suffered during the period of homeschooling.

More than half admitted to feeling more frustrated than normal, with nearly a fifth having less sex due to the high stress levels.

But 56% of parents have also lost an average of more than two hours of sleep a night since the schools closed.

As a result, parents are now treating themselves – with 27% eating more chocolate and 25% throwing the healthy diet in the bin, according to research by Hotels.com.

The travel company has partnered with father-of-two and JLS member Aston Merrygold to release a series of limited-edition hotel pillows for parents to scream into and release some angst after 20% admitted they wanted to scream into a pillow when school closures were announced more than a month ago.

Masked Singer star, Aston, who is dad to sons Grayson and Macauley, said: "I absolutely love my boys, but we all know pandemic parenting is difficult and it can be tough not to, literally, throw your toys out of the pram.

"Half term is obviously going to be really different this year, and I’m sure most parents have felt like they wanted to scream into a pillow at some point over the past few weeks.

"So, let’s all let out a collective scream into a Hotels.com pillow and get back to learning our times tables…all over again."

The range of limited-edition scream pillows, emblazoned with angsty quotes, will be available to win via a competition, with parents posting the phrase they’d like to include on their own scream pillow.

It also emerged that 41 per cent have been left sad that they are unable to make the most of the half-term break by taking their kids away – with a third 33% of parents willing to give up alcohol to be able to enjoy a holiday.

Visiting relatives 37%, going out for dinner 30% and trips to the museum 28% were top of the list for previous half-term activities.

However, 2021 plans for the half term include hiding from the kids 13% and letting them watch more TV 41%.

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Emma Tagg, senior global brand communications manager at Hotels.com Brand, added: "Half term should have signified the first holiday of the year, but for many parents, they’re the ones in need of a break.

"We wanted to show parents that we’re here with you to bring some light relief – and gift you a stress-free holiday at the end of it with flexible booking options.

"Think of the beaches, the minibar and the room service. It’s up to you whether you take the kids…"

For the chance of winning a pillow, adults can head to Hotels.com UK’s Twitter page @hotelsdotcomuk at midday on Tuesday 16th February 2021.

Five winners will be selected at random every 24 hours (15 in total) between 16.02.21 at midday GMT to 19.02.21 at midday GMT, to receive a ‘scream’ pillow and a £100 gift card on Hotels.com to go towards a break once travel restrictions are lifted.

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