The results of a recent study on sleep deprivation might be obvious, but you probably don't have the energy to say, "No duh." Still, let's go over the findings:
Women who live with children get much less sleep than women who don't have children. Women with children also reported more days where they felt tired and sleep-deprived, compared to their child-free counterparts. Fair enough, kids are exhausting, moving on, nothing to see here.
What IS worth looking at is the finding that men who live with children report getting the same amount of sleep as men who don't live with children. Dads also reported no more sleepy days than men who didn't have kids. Which actually many women have long suspected but sort of ignored because #selfpreservation.
Kelly Sullivan, Ph.D., of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, authored the study based on results from a nationwide telephone survey of nearly 6,000 men and women. Respondents reported the number of hours they slept each night, and then answered other questions about parental status, income, etc.
"Our study found not only are [women] not sleeping long enough, they also report feeling tired throughout the day," Sullivan said. So regardless of parental status, women are feeling very sleepy.
Less than half—48 percent—of moms whose kids lived with them reported getting at least seven hours of sleep most nights, while 62 percent of women who didn't have kids said they got the optimal number of hours of sleep—between 7 and 9 hours.
The study took into account all the other factors people blame on poor sleep: age, marital status, fitness levels. They also took into account race, education, income, employment, snoring and other things that may be linked to sleep deprivation.
Among the nearly 3,000 women who took part in the survey, not factor other than the presence of children could be linked to an insufficient amount of sleep for the women 45 and under. An even bigger deal: The odds of not sleeping enough went up another 50 percent with each additional child in the house.
The moms reported feeling tired 14 days each month on average, compared to the women with no kids in the survey who came in at (a still depressing) 11 days each month.
These findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in April. And researchers say they're just preliminary results. For really robust claims, they'd have to replicate the study and publish them in a peer reviewed journal.
But for armchair scientist who are also moms? Yeah, we're good. We know.
"Getting enough sleep is a key component of overall health and can impact the heart, mind and weight," Sullivan says in the AAN press release on the research team's survey. "It's important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health."