Are you getting enough sleep? The New-Mom Edition

By: Staff

How much sleep can new parents expect to lose in their first year of parenting?

Between Mom and Dad, about 400 to 750 hours of sleep will be sacrificed in order to care for a new baby in her first year, according to one WebMD doctor.

About how much sleep does a woman aged 30 to 60 get each night, regardless of caring for a new baby?

The National Sleep Foundation found in a poll that women average 6 hours and 41 minutes of sleep on a typical weekday, notably less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours.

Which of the following things might impact the quality of your sleep after giving birth?

Women differ from men biologically in a way that influences their sleep cycles uniquely. In addition to fluctuating hormones after pregnancy, your menstrual cycles and, eventually, menopause can impact how soundly you sleep.

True or false: New mothers experience disturbed sleep akin to that of graveyard-shift workers.

Nobody has scientifically researched whether the bodies of new mothers and graveyard-shift workers become sleep deprived in the same way. However, both nightshift workers and new moms experience similarly high levels of disturbed natural sleep patterns and have trouble getting enough restorative sleep.

On average, a woman needs how much more sleep than her husband?

A recent study from England shows that women need about 20 minutes more sleep per night than men. The reason women need the extra shut-eye is because their brains are biologically more complex. That means a woman's brain needs more downtime to repair from decision-making, multitasking, memory and language use.

Fact or fiction: Because you're a lighter sleeper, as a female, you're more susceptible to hearing a baby's cry and waking up.

As a woman, you'll find it easier to wake up in the middle of the night and harder to get back to sleep. The combination makes it difficult for new moms to enter deep sleep, especially because they're more likely to wake up when a disturbance, such as a baby's cry, is emotionally meaningful.

What's the name of the hormone produced in a well-rested body that regulates ovulation, menstruation, appetite and weight?

When you're sleeping adequately, your body produces enough leptin, which regulates the bodily functions mentioned above. Women who don't sleep enough, especially new moms, need to watch out for sporadic hormonal imbalances and mood swings based on the off-putting effects of low leptin levels.

Fact or fiction: Most moms get enough sleep every night.

One recent study from researchers at West Virginia University found that moms get plenty of hours of sleep; they just don't get good quality sleep. While new moms may log as many hours as they should, they seldom reach deep, restorative, REM sleep.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Despite being an exciting time, the months after giving birth to your first child tax your sleep cycle. Disturbed sleep can sap your strength, your cognitive ability and your body's ability to function normally and healthily. To test how on-par your nighttime habits are, take this quick quiz.

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