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Do you sleep eight hours straight? You got lucky. Only 5% of parents of newborns get it

When a baby arrives in the family, a great revolution takes place at all levels, and especially in the rest of the parents, who see the quantity and quality of their sleep considerably reduced. There are those who have little dormouse at home that sleep from the first days, but it is not at all the most common.

It is normal for babies to have irregular sleep patterns during the first months and need to wake up several times during the night to feed, to seek comfort, or because they are uncomfortable. Over time, your sleep will evolve and you will sleep more and more hours. And the parents too.

How new moms and dads sleep

Emma – The Sleep Company has carried out a study thanks to its sleep barometer to better understand what sleep is like for new parents.

The main conclusion is acceptable: 57% of them state that they have quality sleep during the first months as parents.

But there are nuances. The vast majority recognize that they do not sleep the recommended 7 or 9 hours uninterruptedly. In fact, of the parents who have babies between 0 and 6 months, only 5 percent claim to sleep eight hours at a time .

On the other hand, up to 43% acknowledge that they do not sleep more than one or three hours at a time at night and 17% say they sleep badly every night.

The first year of a baby’s life is the hardest for parents when it comes to rest. According to the ESCI (European Sleep Quality Institute) they lose more than 700 hours of sleep, which translates into two hours less sleep each night.

Theresa Schnorbach, a psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and a sleep scientist at Emma – The Sleep Company, notes:

“As new parents, it’s normal to miss out on sleep and the ability to sleep through the night. Some studies show that newborns sleep between 12 and 17 hours a day. If they are premature, they can even sleep up to 90% of their time. So the good news is that parents may find time to sleep, though not always on an uninterrupted stretch. Try to incorporate recovery phases throughout the day rather than being on your feet all day.”

The baby’s sleep, and the lack of sleep of the parents

When they are born, babies sleep most of the day, between 18 hours and 20 hours , without differentiating between day and night. In the first weeks, the hours of daytime sleep gradually shorten. After three months, between the fourth and approximately the eighth month, a very special period occurs. The baby acquires the rest of the sleep phases and has irregular sleep. Sleep more hours at night, and one or two naps during the day.

Around the year, the child begins to have microarousals , that is, small lapses of awakening that are an innate response of the human being to be constantly alert.

But after the first year, it is not solved as if by magic. With the passage of time, awakenings decrease, it does not mean that you go to sleep all at once, since most children under 3 years of age continue to wake up one or more times during the night. So, the only advice we can give you is patience! And try to follow the following tips:

What parents can do to rest better

The siesta, your best ally

But not sleeping uninterruptedly at night is not incompatible with having a quality rest.

The same study highlights that 40% of fathers and mothers take a nap to recover the hours of sleep lost at night . And it is precisely one of the recommendations to follow, if you have the opportunity and your daily tasks allow it.

Natural light to sleep better at night

Doing outdoor activities and receiving sunlight during the day is directly related to improved sleep at night. Take the opportunity to go for walks with your newborn baby, which will result in a better rest at night.

Direct exposure to natural light helps you sleep better and fall asleep earlier . This is because it improves the nocturnal production of melatonin, the hormones that promote sleep; it also increases the morning production of the steroid hormones cortisol; Y
serotonin levels increase.

Quality versus quantity: the keys to sleep

Most adults need seven to nine hours a night to wake up feeling well-rested, but a lot depends on exactly what happens during those hours. There is a natural confusion between the quality of sleep (restful and restorative) and sleep satisfaction , which refers to a more subjective judgment of how one feels with sleep.
about the sleep you’re getting. And it can go both ways: sometimes you’ve slept poorly and yet feel energized and alert, and other times you spend 10 hours in bed, but for some reason you still feel sleepy or fatigued.

Therefore, to measure the quality of sleep, four elements are usually evaluated.

  • Sleep latency : a measure of the time it takes to fall asleep. Falling asleep within 30 minutes or less of going to bed suggests that your sleep quality is good.
  • Wakefulness – Measures how often you wake up during the night. For new parents, this is often the factor that disrupts the sleep cycle and reduces sleep quality.
  • Awakening – Refers to how many minutes you spend awake at night after falling asleep. Normally, people with a good quality of sleep have 20 minutes or less of wakefulness during the night.
  • Sleep efficiency : The amount of time you spend sleeping while in bed is known as sleep efficiency.

Other tips for better sleep

Eliminate large dinners, exercise, try to sleep when your baby sleeps (even if you have pending tasks, set priorities), and take turns with your partner so that at least one of the two can sleep a full night.

Foto | Depositphotos

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