Woman, Mother, Child, Sleep

Women tend to remain sleep deprived in homes where there are small children, a new study has found.

According to a study by scientists at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017, women tend to sleep a lot less than men in homes where there are children.

Scientists examined data from a nationwide telephone survey of 5,805 people wherein participants were asked how long they slept, with seven to nine hours per day considered optimum and less than six hours considered insufficient. They were also asked how many days they felt tired in the past month.

Researchers looked at age, race, education, marital status, number of children in the household, income, body mass index, exercise, employment and snoring as possible factors linked to sleep deprivation.

The study found that among the 2,908 women aged 45 years and younger in the study, the only factor associated with getting enough sleep was having children in the house, with each child increasing the odds of insufficient sleep by nearly 50 percent. For women under 45, 48 per cent of women with children reported getting at least seven hours of sleep, compared to 62 per cent of women without children.

No other factors — including exercise, marital status and education–were linked to how long younger women slept.

The study found that not only was living with children associated with how long younger women slept, but also how often they felt tired. Younger women with children reported feeling tired 14 days per month, on average, compared to 11 days for younger women without children in the household. Having children in the house was not linked to how long men slept.

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