Study says dads of newborns are more sleep-deprived than mums
“It showed that mothers were being woken more often—no doubt, due to feeding. But fathers were actually getting less sleep overall and were sleepier.”
Because mothers are the ones who actually went into labour to give birth and are the ones most often woken up at night to feed the baby, they are generally believed to be the ones who don’t get enough sleep.
But according to new studies conducted in the US, it revealed that it is actually dads who are more deprived of sleep.
“The two studies were carried out using wrist trackers,” reported Motherish. “The first study was of 21 couples who’d just had their first baby. It showed that mothers were being woken more often—no doubt, due to feeding. But fathers were actually getting less sleep overall and were sleepier.”
The second study monitored 72 couples in the first month of their baby’s birth. The results showed that dads got less sleep in each 24-hour period because mum napped throughout the day.
Researchers Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham also believe that most mothers overestimate how well dads sleep.
Most importantly, the result of the study highlights these points:
“Firstly, every couple is different,” said the same Motherish article. “These are just studies, and fairly small ones at that, so they’re not going to reflect everyone’s experience.”
“Secondly, it’s not a competition. Sleep deprivation is hellish. Whether your partner is experiencing it worse than you or not at all doesn’t change what you’re going through.
“But most importantly, the effects of sleep deprivation on both parents need to be taken seriously.”
The studies also revealed that most fathers, despite having few snooze hours, are still putting long hours at work, and often they have to commute to work—an affair almost as dangerous as drunk driving.
“Ideally we’d live in a world where all parents were given a generous amount of paid leave after the birth of a child,” said the article’s writer Helen Vnuk.
“While we’re dreaming of that, let’s just keep in mind that having a newborn can be really, really tough on both parents. They both need sympathy and support.”
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