British scientists studied 2,541 women and 2,118 men who became parents between 2008 and 2015, and assessed the time and quality of their sleep each year. Although young parents’ sleep improves slightly after a few months, it takes them an average of six years to regain quality sleep.
The reason is simple: even older children can fall ill, have nightmares or wake up during the night, indirectly disturbing the sleep of parents, who may be more anxious or simply woken up by their children.
According to the study, this phenomenon affects women more than men. Fathers would lose an average of thirteen minutes of sleep per night against 62 for mothers. According to the professor of the University of Warwick, and lead author of the study, Sakari Lemola, this would be explained by an unequal distribution of tasks within couples.