A new study from the UK’s leading discount website has found that, on average, mothers lose 2.05 hours sleep a night throughout the first year of their baby’s life. However, two fifths of mothers said that it ‘wasn’t as bad’ as they had predicted it to be when pregnant.
As part of ongoing research into the parenting habits of Britons, the UK’s
leading discount website has conducted a study of 1,091 mothers across the UK
with children aged 1-2 years, in order to discover how many hours of sleep were
lost in the first year of their baby’s life.
The study, conducted by www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, initially asked the respondents if they experienced ‘broken sleep’ throughout
the first year of their baby’s life, to which 98% said ‘yes’. The remaining 2%
of respondents claimed that they had not.
The 98% of mothers who stated that they did experience broken sleep throughout
the first year of their child’s life were asked to estimate how many times
their baby woke, on average, per night. The average response from mothers
taking part was ‘3.9 times’, with all answers taken into account. When asked
how long they were awake for whilst tending to their baby on each occasion, the
study found that, on average, the respondents were awake for 31.6 minutes each
According to the research, prior to having children the respondents slept for
an average of 7.8 hours a night. Therefore, if the average mother woke 3.9
times each night for 31.6 minutes at a time, they lost an average of 2.05 hours
sleep a night; subsequently sleeping, on average, for just 5.75 hours a night.
In order to discover how many hours sleep parents lost in the first year of
their baby’s life, the average number of 2.05 hours sleep lost per night was
multiplied by 365 days. According to the results, in the course of one year,
mothers would have lost 748.25 hours sleep; totalling 31.8 days.
Though this equation established that mothers lose 31.8 days of sleep a year
through tending to their baby throughout the night, the study found that more
than two thirds, 67%, of the mothers asked felt that they ‘got used’ to the
More than half, 53%, of the mothers polled stated that they shared the
responsibility of nursing their baby back to sleep with their partner. A
further 44% stated that the reduced hours of sleep was something that they found
‘difficult’; however 39% said that it was ‘better’ than what they predicted it
would be whilst they were pregnant.
Mark Pearson, Chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, said the following about the
“When starting to conduct this study, I was confident that the amount of hours
sleep that was lost by parents would have been high, but to see that a whole
month of sleep is lost per year by mothers really puts it in perspective!
Having a baby can be a big shock to parents, not only due to lack of sleep but
the cost and the shift of priorities. No matter how hard parents prepare and
how much they research, no one can ever really predict how a baby will behave
until it’s with you- particularly how much the baby will want to sleep!”