A study has revealed that new parents lose nearly a month and a half’s worth of sleep in the first year of their child’s life.
The study was conducted on parents in the UK and suggested that parents only get around 5.1 hours sleep per night.
This adds up to an average loss of nearly 44 days throughout the year.
The research came from ErgoFlex who quizzed 1,812 adults aged 18 or over. It found that an average adult’s regular night’s sleep would last 7.8 hours.
So, for new parents the 2.7 hours per night loss is quite considerable and can lead to symptoms of sleep deprivation quite quickly.
ErgoFlex says: “The effects of sleep deprivation range from mild – such as being irritable and unproductive – through to severe, in which serious health issues can arise.
“In short, sleep deprivation should be avoided in any form, yet the 24/7 role of a new parent makes such an aim almost impossible.”
The warning is echoed by Kelly Sullivan who is an assistant professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University.
She said: “It’s important for individuals, especially those in caregiving roles, to recognize issues that increase their risk of health problems and work to maintain optimum physical and mental health in order to continue functioning at the high level that caregiving often requires.”
Elsewhere, the study revealed that people in a couple are accidentally woken in their sleep by their partner an average of 2.1 time per week – this adds up to 109 nights per year of disturbed sleep.
The research also revealed that people in the UK go to sleep drunk an average of seven times per year.