Parenting Comes With Six Years Of Sleep Deprivation
If your 3-month old is making you severely sleep deprived, we’re sorry to inform you, but you’ve got another 6 years of sleepless nights ahead of you. A study by the University of Warwick has revealed that those sleepless nights we all fear as new parents don’t necessarily go away once the kids are out of nappies.
The study, which examined 4,659 parents, concluded that the first 3 months after childbirth women sleep on average one hour less than before they were pregnant, while men lose out on 15 minutes of sleep. Ok, so we already knew that having a newborn in the house means little to no sleep at all! Wait, there’s more. The study further revealed that by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, mums are still losing an average of 20 minutes of sleep a night, with dads not far behind at 15 minutes less. Unsurprisingly, first-time parents lost the most sleep compared to more experienced parents, and breastfeeding mums lost more than bottle-feeding mums.
While children might become more cooperative at bedtime as they grow and become more independent, the toddler and preschool phase does present other night disruptions. Sickness, nightmares, general anxiety around sleeping alone, and, of course, the everyday stresses of parenthood, continues to contribute to a lack of shuteye for today’s parents.
So is there any light at the end of the parenting tunnel? It’s comforting to know that these sleepless nights and stressful days are merely part of the parenting cycle and are not in any way shape or form a reflection of an individual’s parenting skills.
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