Babies are truly a blessing, but they do come with one major downside: a lack of sleep. Now studies are showing that babies can disrupt your quality and quantity of sleep for up to six years. That is a long time! This means when your bouncy baby is a six-year-old, you will still be trying to catch up on your missed zzz’s.
The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Warwick and published in a sleep journal. The scientists worked in collaboration with the German Institute for Economic Research and the West Virginia University. They researched the sleep patterns of 4,659 parents who had a baby sometime between 2008 and 2015.
Learn What The Study Found
The parents were asked to write down how many hours they slept per night and rank their sleep quality. They ranked their sleep quality on a scale of 0 to 10. The results were very interesting. Researchers found that after their first baby was born, parents did not return to their pre-baby sleeping habits until the child was about six years old.
They also found that on average, new moms slept an hour less in general during the first three months of their baby’s life. The fathers slept about 15 minutes less. Six years later, the moms regained some sleep because the number dropped to 20 minutes less than their original sleeping time. The father’s number seemed to stay the same. What about people who are single parents? What about those who can afford a nanny?
It was interesting to see that the results didn’t change much, even if the parent was a single parent or if they had more money. It seems that it is generally true that new mothers don’t get as much sleep as fathers do. They also found that the findings were more pronounced in first-time parents rather than people who already had a child or two.
How To Get Better Sleep
Are you a parent who needs more sleep? While having a child will disrupt your sleep and there are things you can’t control, there are ways to improve your sleeping habits. Try going to bed a little earlier, limit your caffeine intake, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and try sleepytime tea or taking a bath before bed.
Meditation, stress control, and stretching could also help improve your sleep habits. If you have children, do you think the results of this study are pretty accurate? How do you sleep these days?
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