How Many Hours of Sleep Parents Lose When a Baby Arrives
Many wonder how many hours of sleep parents lose when a new member joins the family, and recently published studies have revealed this surprising number.
Sleep becomes extremely precious when one embarks on the adventure of being a parent.
In the first months of a baby’s life, seeing parents with dark circles under their eyes, tired and with unfinished chores around the house, is a a fairly frequent image.
This is because the baby hasn’t yet established his circadian rhythm. He has to get used to a 24-hour cycle governed by the light of day and the darkness of night.
Now, have you ever wondered exactly how many hours of sleep parents lose when a baby arrives?
Before focusing on this particular fact, let’s review why sleep is so important for adults and children.
Benefits of sleep
According to science, people must sleep at least 7 hours each night. Here are just some of the advantages of giving our body a well-deserved rest:
- Helps us avoid diseases: when we sleep, the immune system regenerates. In this way, we defend ourselves better against threats.
- Prevents heart disease: during rest, blood pressure decreases considerably. In addition, arteries are cleaned of fats and sugars.
- Improves sports performance and sexual energy: this is due to the simple fact that sleep allows muscles to rebuild after the small tears produced by exercise. Likewise, rest allows sexual energy to be renewed.
- Combats stress: when resting, the mind is freed from the burdens of routine: work, debts and obligations. Thus, upon awakening, the person feels more “relieved” and will even be more creative when it comes to solving problems.
- Helps us eat better: when we don’t rest properly, a smaller amount of a hormone called leptin is produced. Among other effects, it reduces appetite.
Consequences of poor rest
On the other hand, not getting good rest has a direct impact on a person’s overall well-being. These are the most common health effects:
- Bad mood
- Low intellectual and physical performance
- Poor nutrition
- Daytime fatigue
- Less protection against germs and bacteria
How long should a baby sleep?
It seems contradictory to think that parents lose sleep when, simultaneously, babies under the age of 6 months sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day.
This is because babies wake up every few hours to feed and feel the comfort of their mother.
Logically, this causes the mother to wake up to breastfeed the baby. In general, it also results in the father not being able to sleep through the night.
However, some studies claim that women lose even more moments of rest than fathers in the first months of the baby’s life.
Although babies under six months of age usually sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day, they don’t do it all at once: they wake up after a few hours to feed.
At six months, on the other hand, the baby’s sleep habit will change and adapt to the rest of the family.
From this stage, you’ll notice he’ll start to sleep five, six and even seven hours at night.
As they grow up, the amount of times they wake up at night to feed will become less and less frequent. When they reach about one year old, they sleep about 11 to 14 hours a day.
How many hours of sleep do parents lose when a baby arrives?
A few years ago, during the VII University Conference of Advances in Pediatric Sleep Medicine at the University of Valencia, the head of Pediatrics and the Sleep Unit of Hospital Quirón Valencia, Gonzalo Pin, revealed an alarming fact.
According to the studies carried out by this researcher and member of the European Institute of Sleep Quality, parents lose approximately 700 hours of sleep per year in the first 12 months of their child’s life.
This is an average of 2 hours per night.
Parents lose approximately 700 hours of sleep per year in the first 12 months of their child’s life.
So, if we consider the recommendation to sleep 8 hours per night, this would represent a loss of 25%. Yes, parents lose a quarter of their sleep during this period of time. Surprising, right?
As we mentioned previously, this is seen even more in mothers, since they’re usually responsible for feeding the child every time he wakes up.
Therefore, mothers tend to be the most affected when evaluating how many hours of sleep parents lose in this stage of their lives.
We can conclude, then, that parenthood is a beautiful but exhausting experience.
Good advice for experiencing it in the best possible way is to distribute responsibilities between you and your partner. This way, daily tasks don’t become an unbearable burden.
Of course, also try to sleep every time your child is resting.