The poll of 500 parents showed a third regularly lose 90 minutes sleep per night, equating to a full night’s sleep every week, or 68 nights in a year.
And almost half of new parents argue over who has less sleep, with mothers claiming they lose the most and this ‘competitive sleep syndrome’ can strain relationships, the survey suggested.
A total of 42% of mothers claim they respond to their baby’s night-time cries within 30 seconds, while 68% say their partner takes five minutes or longer. Only 1% of women claim to be able to sleep through their baby’s cries but 43% claim their partner can. A fifth of parents said they were woken four times a night or more with their baby in its first month. The sleepless nights don’t necessarily end with baby’s first birthday – the survey found that 38% of babies were not sleeping through the night by age 1.
Although some of the new parents said they found the experience liberating, because it made them realise they needed less sleep than they previously believed, most claimed their experience had left a permanent legacy. Over half (57%) said they were now a lighter sleeper as a result of listening out for their baby and 11% said they had had problems with sleep since being parents.