When people become parents, they can expect so many wonderful things. But there are also many downsides. There’s the seemingly endless crying, the collapse of any kind of social life and the constant sleep deprivation. But how bad are those things, really?
When it comes to sleep deprivation, science has just provided an answer. And it’s horrendous.
In fact, the results of the Sleep Journal’s data is so depressing, it shouldn’t be read by anyone on the fence about having kids.
Sleep deprivation happening when there’s a new baby about is nothing surprising. And it’s hardly the little one’s fault. Everything’s new to them, and all they can ask during the middle of the night is, “Where is mama, anyway?” And their only way of expressing that thought is through screeching.
But it turns out that sleep deprivation stretches much further than those first six or so months, when all the baby knows how to do is cry constantly.
After compiling the data of 2,500 women and 2,200 men, the researchers of this study discovered that parents suffer from sleep deprivation for a whopping six years after childbirth.
The study took place in Germany and was carried out from 2008 to 2015. Over this time, the researchers asked the parents to rate their sleep quality out of 10 at frequent intervals. They also collected data on how many hours of sleep the parents got on a weeknight and a weekend.
And the results consistently pointed to an average of six years of sleep deprivation in the parents.
So this isn’t some sort of slapdash, half-hearted experiment. It took place over seven years and studied thousands of people!
“We didn’t expect to find that, but we believe that there are certainly many changes in the responsibilities you have.” Dr. Sakari Lemola.
As well as this incredibly shocking data, the team also identified some results that will come as a surprize to no one.
For instance, the maximum level of sleep deprivation occurs when the parents’ child is three months old. Additionally, women suffer from sleep deprivation the most, as they often shoulder the majority of the child-rearing responsibilities.
In fact, the report states that the first three months after childbirth are always the hardest for parents.
This is even truer when it’s a first baby, as the parent is unprepared for the experience.
Mothers on average stated that they lost a little more than an hour of sleep per night during the first three months of their first child’s life.
If any woman reading this is starting to get mad at men for letting them go through this, then prepare to get even more annoyed.
Fathers also experienced sleep deprivation in the first three months of their first child’s life. But the total loss of sleep that they experienced only averaged at 13 minutes.
That’s quite a difference!
Clearly, fathers, on the whole, could be doing a lot more to help their partners when it comes to helping out with the baby.
It’s also worth remembering that everyone reading this was born. That means that everyone reading this was at one point the primary cause of sleep deprivation for their parents.
Perhaps it’s time to call those parents and apologize for all those years of lost sleep?
Everyone’s done this to someone else, just because of the fact that they exist.
And if anyone reading this still wants to become a parent, even when they know how excessive the sleep deprivation can be, then they’ll probably be a great parent!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
Source: Oxford Academic