This information will come as no surprise to any new parents out there, but a survey showed that on average, new parents lose six months’ sleep during the first two years of their new child’s life.
The survey found that over 60% of parents with babies under 24 months got less than 3 hours and 15 minutes of sleep per night. About 10% of parents are able to get only 2 and a half hours of continuous sleep a night.
Sleep deprivation can lead to many health problems, but short term the most noticeable effect is mood swings. Researchers suggest regular, easy exercise while awake to release endorphins to counter act the mood swings.
Many parents worry that their insomnia will develop into a long term habit that lasts past their childs’ infancy. Short term insomnia does not necessarily have to develop into a long term problem, however, and often parents sleep habits revert to what they once were when the child can sleep more peacefully.
Experts agree that catching up on a few hours here and there does not make up for the deficit, but it is beneficial. Napping for any period of time can have a positive impact on your body and is encouraged if it is appropriate and possible for your schedule.