Moms lose more sleep than dads, but are we really surprised?
In today’s edition of “news that we really wish surprised us,” the results of a new study have confirmed that moms lose more sleep than dads. It’s basically assumed that having a newborn messes with your sleep schedule, but sleepless nights and constant exhaustion aren’t par for the course for new dads.
Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology and Georgia Southern University surveyed 5,805 Americans about their sleep habits, and found that mothers are chronically sleep-deprived.
For women ages 45 and under, chances of getting six hours of sleep or more per night decreased by 50% for every child she has. Only 48% of moms in this age bracket reported getting seven or more hours of sleep, compared to 62% of women who don’t have kids.
Moms reported feeling tired for about two weeks each month, compared to 11 days for women without kids.
The study found that fathers don’t get less sleep than men without kids, and there isn’t a difference in the number of days per month they feel tired.
None of this is particularly surprising — despite the fact that many mothers also work full-time jobs, women still spend more time than their partners doing housework and handling childcare responsibilities.
Being tired all the time isn’t just inconvenient and miserable — it also has a negative impact on longterm physical and mental health. And past research has indicated that women need more sleep than men.
“I think these findings may bolster those women who say they feel exhausted, study author Kelly Sullivan, Ph.D., wrote in a press release. “Getting enough sleep is a key component of overall health and can impact the heart, mind, and weight…. It’s important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health.
We all know that childcare is exhausting and time-consuming — and this study illustrates why it’s so important that mothers and fathers evenly divide up the responsibilities that come along with parenthood.