Single moms operate on
fewer hours of sleep and have poorer sleep quality than adults in other types
of families according to the most recent study by the U.S. National Center for
Health Statistics (NCHS).
In a first time study
of adult sleep habits by their family types, the U.S.
government reported that single moms with children under 18 slept fewer hours, had
trouble falling asleep and typically wake up feeling tired, US News reports.
The study also
reported that single moms were more likely than single dads (43.5 percent
versus 37.5 percent) to sleep fewer than seven hours a day and three in 10
single moms had problems staying asleep, compared with two in 10 single dads.
"Women tend to
make family, and especially their children, a priority in life — day and
night, 24/7," noted Kathryn Lee, a sleep researcher at the University of
California San Francisco.
The stress of being a
single parent while juggling work and family also affects the mental and
physical health of single moms, said Dr. Shelby Harris, director of Behavioral
Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Health System
in New York City.
difficulties may also be partly due to hormonal fluctuations and higher rates
of anxiety, stress and depression," Harris told US News. "And once they're
able to get to bed, they often can't turn their brains off since they are thinking
— or even worrying — about everything that needs to get done the next day."
Poor sleep habits are often associated with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as mental health issues like depression.