Just what measures are parents having to go to, just to get some sleep?
Sleepless nights and feeling exhausted are part and parcel of being a new parent, but the reality of sleep deprivation goes beyond just missing out on a good night’s sleep.
On average parents of a newborn will lose out on a staggering 780 hours of sleep in the first year alone. That is more than 97 nights’ worth of sleep.
Some parents have complained about the impact on their professional work, with almost three in 10 (29%) saying they have made a mistake because of tiredness, and 21% have even called in sick because they were too tired to make it into the office. Almost a fifth (18%) have even had to go part time (from full-time roles) to allow them to juggle the pressures of parenthood.
It is not only careers that have been affected. Weight gain (38%) and having bad skin (27%) are two of the most common physical effects, according to the research from Tommee Tippee.
Parents are nothing if not resourceful, devising many coping strategies including regularly going to bed at 7pm (52%). While others sleep in the car on their lunch break (12%) or nip to the loo for 40 winks (11%). In fact, some parents have been so desperate to catch up on sleep that they have even sought refuge in a hotel. So, how much is one whole night of uninterrupted sleep worth? On average, £626 across the UK, rising to £1,374 in London.
Relationships certainly appear to be affected by a lack of sleep too, with more than half (59%) of parents saying they rarely or never have sex because of exhaustion in the first year of parenthood. From constantly snapping at each other (31%) to arguing over who is most tired (24%), it is no wonder that 40% of parents said having a baby had pushed them further apart.
Almost eight in 10 parents admit that nothing could have prepared them for how exhausted they felt in that first year due to lack of sleep.