Sleep And Health Are Ever Important For New Dads

When a new baby is born, many people automatically give the parents a break for being tired. Oftentimes, the mom gets more sympathy than the dad, but the truth is both parents suffer from a lack of sleep during the first few months (and sometimes years) of the infant’s life. To take it one step further, this study published on NPR last week found that new dads may be more prone to sleep deprivation than new moms. Arguably, there are variables that make this a contested bit of conversation, but for the most part, it was found that dads feel the poor effects of lacking sleep and health as much as moms, if not more.

The Facts

  • 72 couples were studied in 2004 using a wrist tracker to analyze health factors that determined tiredness; they found that “fathers had objectively less sleep than mothers. Sleep was measured throughout the day, though, and the mothers appeared to play catch-up during the daytime hours when the fathers were unable to do so.”
  • A 2011 study analyzed mothers and fathers opinions of each other’s roles and moods finding that almost all mothers said the fathers got enough sleep and fathers said the mothers were moodier because of lack of sleep; both findings reported otherwise.
  • 241 fathers in a 2012 study reported sleeping fewer than six hours per night and then working long hours the next day.

The Effects

  • The numbers can fluctuate and parents can waste time arguing about who is more tired, or they can simply get to bed to stop these poor side effects of fatigue.
  • Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause the mind to behave as if it were intoxicated.
  • People’s emotions are on a shorter fuse, and they are more likely to be cranky.
  • Both the mother and father report a “robust decline in marital satisfaction.”
  • Fathers reported less “vigilance about safe behaviors in the workplace.”
  • Mothers’ housework duties were reported to decline during the postpartum period.

Get your sleep and health connected by doing your best to relieve stress in other areas of your life and getting as much shut eye as possible.