Researchers in Germany surveyed 2,541 mothers and 2,118 fathers between 2008 to 2015 and found parents don’t receive good consistent sleep until their child is at least six years old.
The study found most new moms reported losing at least one hour or more of sleep per night until their newborn was at least three months old. Both sleep satisfaction and duration were much lower for new moms than for dads. Women saw an average sleep reduction of 62 minutes a night, compared to men, who got about 13 minutes less sleep.
Breastfeeding was also associated with a slightly greater decrease in moms' sleep satisfaction, which is not hard to understand as newborn needs feeding every two to four hours.
The study also found the number one reason parents aren't getting a good night's sleep is because their kids aren't either. Even after six years after birth, moms still slept 20 minutes less and dads slept 15 minutes less than before the baby arrived.
"While having children is a major source of joy for most parents it is possible that increased demands and responsibilities associated with the role as a parent lead to shorter sleep and decreased sleep quality even up to 6 years after birth of the first child," author Sakari Lemola of the University of Warwick said in a statement.
Factors such as "age, household income, and dual vs. single parenting were unrelated, or only very weakly related, to improved sleep," the researchers wrote in the study.