New parents, beware: This is how long it’ll be until you get normal sleep again

Ah, the joys of parenthood — changing diapers, cleaning spit up and waking every night to care for your little one. Some new parents may wonder when their sleep schedule will return to what it was before they had a child. And a new study could have the answer — but it’s not good news.

According to research recently published in medical journal Sleep, neither parent should expect their slumber to fully recover for up to six years after their first kid is born. That’s 72 months, 2190 days,  or 52,560 hours. In short, it’s a long time, so get ready to be sleep deprived for what feels like an eternity.


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No sleep for anyone

Between 2008 and 2015, 2541 women and 2118 men participated in the study, which found that the first few months after giving birth are the worst for parents’ sleep satisfaction and duration. During those first three months, mothers were more affected than fathers. But as time went by, both parents could expect their sleep to suffer, if not equally, even after their children were in preschool.

First-time parents were more prone to deal with sleep effects, as were mothers who breastfed instead of using a bottle. But in case you think money may have something to do with all of it, think again: Higher household incomes didn’t shield people from losing sleep after having a kid.

So if you’ve just given birth, here’s the good news: You will eventually sleep again, and it gets better. But it won’t go back to “normal” for years, and years, and years — so buckle up for a bumpy ride.


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