Many moms remember the days when weekends meant sleeping as late as you like, but having kids often makes for a major lifestyle change and the first thing to go is your lazy mornings. Now a study proves women are getting less sleep after having kids, but somehow dads are still getting away with their regular 7 to 9 hours of shuteye a night.
CBS News reports about a study from Georgia Southern University that suggests moms of small children are not getting enough sleep after having kids while dads are able to stick with their old pre-kids sleeping habits. In order to keep ourselves in the best health, experts recommend getting anywhere from 7 to 9 hours per night for adults. Only getting 6 or fewer hours per night can affect our daily performance and overall health.
Unfortunately for women with children, getting that optimum amount of sleep each night may prove to be difficult. Researchers involved in the study found that with each additional child living in the house, female respondents aged 45 and younger had a 46% greater chance of not reaching the sufficient sleep goal.
Women also reported more days per month of feeling unrested than men who had kids in the household. Lead author of the study Kelly Sullivan explains, “For men, we did basically the same analysis and children had absolutely no impact on men [and their sleep].” Women in this age group that did not have children in the house were also 14% more likely to get at least seven hours of sleep each night than women with kids.
Previous studies and reports have suggested women are not only more likely to suffer from insomnia but also require more sleep per night than men. The National Sleep Foundation cites a study from Dr. Jim Horne that suggests women actually require about 20 more minutes of sleep per night than men due to the way our brains multi-task throughout the day.
Finding out why one parent is getting more sleep than the other can help to solve the problem and get mom back on track with some much needed sleep. Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, explains that parents need to look at their schedules and negotiate child care and household chores in a way that will allow both mom and dad to get enough sleep each night. Mindell says, “It doesn’t have to be 50-50, but it’s sharing it. If one parent works outside the home during the week and the other doesn’t, the stay-at-home parent can cover night-time child duty while the other parent takes over on weekends.”
What do you think of the study that finds moms aren’t getting enough sleep while dads tend to stick with a healthy sleep schedule?
Why do you think a mom’s sleeping schedule differs so much from a dad’s?