Parents are still losing out on sleep six years after having their first child

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PARENTS continue to lose out on sleep six years after having their first child, according to the first study of its kind.

Unsurprisingly, new mums snoozed the least during the first three months after giving birth – catching an hour less nap time daily than pre-pregnancy.

Getty – Contributor

Parents are still losing out on sleep six years after having their first child, a study has found[/caption]

But dads also saw their sleep cut by 15 minutes with a newborn at home.

However, six years after having a child, mothers slept 20 minutes less than their pre-kid days and fathers were still deprived of 15 minutes.

Lead researcher Dr Sakari Lemola, from the Department of Psychology at Warwick University, said: “While having children is a major source of joy for most parents it is possible that increased demands and responsibilities associated with the role as a parent lead to shorter sleep and decreased sleep quality even up to six years after birth of the first child.”

Adults got an average of seven hours and 12 minutes-a-night before having children.

Experts blamed “changes in duties, strains, and worries related to the parental role” for long-term sleep loss.

Parents also reported lower sleep satisfaction six years after having children.

Experts said first-time parents were worse affected than experienced mums and dads.

Breastfeeding mothers also got 14 minutes less snooze time than those who gave their baby the bottle.

But having more cash or the support of a partner had little impact on overall sleep.

Dr Lemola added: “Women tend to experience more sleep disruption than men after the birth of a child reflecting that mothers are still more often in the role of the primary caregiver than fathers.”

The study, published in the journal Sleep, analysed data on 4,659 parents who had a child between 2008 and 2015.


Participants were tracked for more than six years and reported on their nightly rest during yearly interviews.

The study concludes that for first-time mothers, childbirth is “the most significantly sleep-altering life event” during their adulthood.

It warns after having a baby, sleep satisfaction does not fully recover to pre-pregnancy levels for either parent.

Getty – Contributor

Six years after having a child, mothers were sleeping 20 minutes less than their pre-kid days[/caption]

Women's toil risk

WOMEN who work 55- plus hours a week face a higher depression risk, says a study.

The condition is 7.3 per cent more likely than in females working a standard 35 to 40 hours.

Only 3.4 per cent of longer-hours men suffered the problem, the research by University College London found.


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