Having Kids Affects How Much Women Sleep, But Not Men

From late nights spent with a screaming baby to lost sleep over a teenager’s seemingly erratic behavior, having kids can drastically cut into the amount of sleep a person gets each night. However, a new (and pretty unsurprising) study found that the lack of shut-eye associated with having kids affects women far more than men.

New research from the American Academy of Neurology and Georgia Southern University found that women who live with children get less sleep than those who don’t live with children — but having kids in the house doesn’t have much of an effect on men’s sleep patterns. For the study, researchers surveyed 5,805 people nationwide on the phone, and asked them how long they slept, how many days they felt tired in the past month. They also asked questions about their age, race, marital status, exercise habits, number of children, and more.

Of the 2,908 women 45 years and younger in the study, the study found that having children in the house was the only factor linked to getting enough sleep. For those women, 48 percent with children in the house said they got at least seven hours of sleep each night, while 62 percent of women without children reported getting enough sleep. The study determined that each child increases a woman’s chances of not getting enough sleep (which the research classified as less than six hours a night) by almost 50 percent. It also found that younger women with children reported feeling tired 14 days out of the month, compared to just 11 days for those without kids.

But the most obvious aspect of the study, at least for mothers, is that researchers found that having children in the house didn’t affect how long men slept. “I think these findings may bolster those women who say they feel exhausted. Our study found not only are they not sleeping long enough, they also report feeling tired throughout the day,” lead study author Dr. Kelly Sullivan said in a statement.

Having Kids Affects How Much Women Sleep, But Not Men