Experts from America’s Georgia Southern University interviewed 5,805 people aged 45 and under about their sleeping habits, determining that seven to nine hours of shut eye a night is optimal, and less than six hours is insufficient.
Among the women, a link was found between a bad night’s sleep had being a parent – 48 per cent of mothers said they got at least seven hours of sleep, with 62 per cent of women without children recording the same.
Regarding the men in the study, no difference was found between those who were fathers and those who were not.
Furthermore it was found that a mother’s chance of having an interrupted sleep went up by 50 per cent for every child she had.
“I think these findings may bolster those women who say they feel exhausted,” said study leader Dr Kelly Sullivan.
“Our study found not only are they not sleeping long enough, they also report feeling tired throughout the day.”
Other factors, including exercise and marital status, didn’t have an impact on sleep.
Dr Sullivan added that “biologic considerations” unique to women, like hormonal influences, could play a part.
Another finding in the research highlighted the difference between mothers and women without children when it came to feeling tired; mums reported feeling tired 14 days per month, compared to 11 days a month for non mothers.
“Getting enough sleep is a key component of overall health and can impact the heart, mind and weight. It’s important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work towards better health,” Dr Sullivan noted.
“Prioritising healthy sleep is important and includes limiting caffeine intake, keeping the bedroom dark and reducing exposure to bright screens such as phones and TVs close to bedtime.”
The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April (17).
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