Is Dad Or Mum More Sleep Deprived?
All new parents know that sleepless nights are just part and parcel of parenthood. But is dad or mum more sleep deprived?
All new parents know that sleepless nights are just part and parcel of parenthood. Whether the baby takes the breast or bottle, whether everyone sleeps in the same bed or in separate rooms, its still pretty much guaranteed that parents will be sleep-deprived for the first few months at least.
It's a challenge that can turn the strongest, most energetic people into walking zombies, but who has the rougher end of the deal? Is dad or mum more sleep deprived?
Well the research is in, and the answer is Dad!
In their new book titled The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource For Your Child’s First Four Years, science writers and mums Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham have crunched the research to find that while mothers might have more fragmented sleep, fathers are actually more sleep-deprived.
The earliest study Haelle and Willingham cited was from 2004, which looked at 72 couples during the first postpartum month and found that dads got objectively less sleep than their spouses. A similar 2013 study of 21 mother-father pairs confirmed these findings and a separate survey of 241 new dads in 2012 showed a majority of you are working long hours on less than 6 hours of sleep a night.
Most of this is because mums generally get to catch up on their sleep during the day, whereas most dads do not. Mums enjoy two months of maternity leave, while Dad has to go back to work after a week at most.
It's all about the quality of sleep
Quality of sleep is also another issue, with breastfeeding mums enjoying better, deeper sleep. It's biology's way of helping breastfeeding mothers cope with the frequent wakings. In fact, breast feeding mothers are found to get 45 minutes more sleep than even bottle feeding moms.
So Dads, you deserve a medal for your service, but we're sure all you want is 2 extra hours of shut eye.