MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Sakari Lemola
Department of Psychology
University of Warwick
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Sufficient sleep of good quality is important for physical and mental health. Therefore, we are studying factors in people’s lives that may affect their sleep.
In the present study we examined in particular how the birth of a child affects parents’ sleep. In detail, we used data on sleep of more than 4,600 parents in Germany who had a child between 2008 and 2015. During these years parents reported on their sleep in yearly interviews. We found that the birth of a child had quite drastic short-term effects on new mothers’ sleep, particularly during the first three months after birth. This is not a new finding; previous studies reported similar effects. What is new in the current study is that we compared sleep before pregnancy with sleep until up to 6 years after birth.
We were surprised to see that sleep duration and sleep satisfaction were still decreased up to six years after birth. Six years after birth mothers and father still slept around 15-20 minutes less. Continue reading