According to some dudes in white coats, parents with more than three kids are more well-rested. Sign me up for number four!
I remember the 3pm slump all too well. I even had a self-imposed ban on driving anywhere between lunch and dinner times for fear I would fall asleep at the wheel. I once had to pull over and run around the car a few times to wake myself up enough to keep driving.
But a recent study has suggested that in order to get more sleep, we just need to have more babies.
Yeah we’re skeptical too, particularly because my youngest is turning five soon and she still miraculously ends up reversing her backside into me in the early hours of the morning in my bed!
It doesn’t look this peaceful either. Image: iStock.
A recent study conducted by AmeriSleep analysed data from the American Time Use Survey, which details the sleeping habits of mothers and fathers in the US.
The results revealed that for the most part, parents are generally getting between eight and nine hours of sleep a night, which is the recommended amount.
Parents are getting some solid sleep
Dads with one child managed on average 8.8 hours of sleep per night, which slowly decreases with each child. Dads with two or three children enjoy 8.6 hours of sleep, while those with four and five children report 8.4 hours per night.
In comparison, mums with one child enjoyed a whopping nine hours of sleep per night on average. This then decreases to 8.9 hours per night with two children then 8.8 hours of sleep with three children. But babies number four and five bring with them more sleep at 8.9 and nine hours respectively.
Sleep according to parents’ gender. Image: Amerisleep.
Who ARE these people?!
One explanation for the slight increase in sleep in women comes down to the problem I mentioned earlier. The research revealed among parents with one to five children, mums reported slightly more sleep-related activity on average than dads, including napping, dozing off and periods of sleeplessness.
So basically, we’re so exhausted, we can unintentionally fall asleep during the day, adding to our overall sleep. NOW is makes sense!
Another study also concluded that, “women need more rest than men because they multitask more frequently, and this mode of cognition is especially taxing.”
So I guess I take it all back. I’m happy with the three shitty sleepers I currently have, and no amount of promised shut-eye can lure me back to the zombie state that is a vague blur behind me now.