Sleeping easy

Gold medal-winning athlete and mum of two Jo Pavey talks about how becoming a mum made her realise the importance of sleep
Jo Pavey running

Olympian Jo Pavey - who last year became the oldest female gold medalist at the European Championships - said despite her sporting success her children are her biggest achievement: "as a mum of two I am constantly juggling their routines and needs with my work, so sleep is very important. Mums are busier than ever, so it is more important that we look after ourselves and make time for ourselves - which can be something as simple as a good night's sleep."

The desire to 'have it all' is leaving millions of British mums stressed and exhausted, according to a survey. Busy lifestyles mean many mums are sacrificing their health and hobbies, with over two-thirds (71 per cent) missing out on a good night's sleep and regular exercise.

Jo said: "almost a third of our mums said having a good night's sleep in preparation for the next day improved time spent with their children."

The British long distance runner told how despite all she achieved as a much younger athlete she wished she could go back and inject a little more balance into her life. Putting huge amounts of pressure on herself in her twenties, Jo said her sleep was the first thing to suffer: "I would worry about doing my best and would lose sleep over the stress.

"When you become a mum it does become your biggest achievement. It is the best thing in the world and it's the one the one thing you do want to do best - that happy family life you crave. I do believe that if you're exhausted, you don't take in all those moments in the same way. Sleep is so important!"

Watch the interview with Jo on Gurgle TV here.

In the poll of 1,461 parents by bedmaker Silentnight, far more mums than dads complained that they didn't have enough time to sleep, meet friends or learn new skills.

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