New moms and dads continue to be deprived of sleep a full six years after their children are born, a new study has found.
Researchers tracked the long-term sleep patterns of 2,659 new parents from 2008 to 2015 to judge when, if ever, they returned to their normal sleeping patterns.
Unsurprisingly, sleep deprivation peaked when babies were about 3 months old. Women suffered more sleep loss than men during this period. Breastfeeding babies cost mothers more sleep than formula-fed children.
Though things definitely improve as children grow out of infancy, even after a full six years parents still had not fully recovered back to their pre-baby sleep levels. This pattern is consistent regardless of parental age or income and in both single-parent and two-parent households.
The study doesn't offer any evidence of when parents do finally get back to normal sleep levels, if they ever do.