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Parents Aren’t as Sleep Deprived as They Think

A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that parents aren't losing as much sleep as they think they are.

The research was compiled from 1989 to 2008 by the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. Participants tracked their sleep, how tired they felt during the day and the amount of time they slept. Then, researchers factored in how many had children.

Here's a breakdown of the surprising findings:

  • Each child under 2 years added up to 13 minutes fewer of sleep per 24-hour period.
  • Children ages 2 to 5 lead to nine fewer minutes of sleep.
  • Children 6 to 18 years were associated with four fewer minutes of shut eye.

Parents only reported minutes, not hours, of sleep lost – contrary to what many parents surely feel like they lose in a 24-hour period.

"In general, parents with younger children reported shorter average sleep durations, and for parents with multiple children, each child contributed to reductions in sleep duration, " said Paul Pepper, study author and assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Population Health Sciences.

For more on the study and a breakdown of other real-life scenarios that could lead to sleep loss, read the full article at

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