Average Sleep Loss for New Parents

Posted by Rachel Marshall - Brand Manager on 9th Mar 2022

Average Sleep Loss for New Parents

There’s no greater joy than being a parent, but it does come with its challenges. One of the biggest challenges all new parents face is getting enough sleep.

If you’ve recently become a parent, you may not feel you’re in a position to celebrate World Sleep Day on 18th March. From late-night feeds to early morning get-ups, sleep deprivation is a prominent problem that most new parents suffer with.

Average sleep loss for new parents

Adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to function healthily. In a recent survey, we asked 500 parents how much sleep they lost on average each night in their child’s first year and found that 69% lost 3 hours or more of sleep per night.

When broken down, over two-fifths lost 3 or 4 hours, almost one in six lost 5 or 6 hours and over one in ten lost 7 or more hours. 

Sleep loss data for new parents

During your child's first year, how much sleep would you say, on average, you lost each night?
3 or 4 hours (3.5) 215 43%
1 or 2 hours (1.5) 129 25.8%
5 or 6 hours (5.5) 72 14.4%
7 or 8 hours (7.5) 35 7%
More than 8 (8.5) 24 4.8%
I can't remember (-) 14 2.8%
None - I didn't lose any sleep (0) 11 2.2%
Total 500

Male/female split: sleep loss data for new parents

During your child's first year, how much sleep would you say, on average, you lost each night?
Female Male     
3 or 4 hours (3.5) 49% 37.5%
1 or 2 hours (1.5) 19.7% 31.4%
5 or 6 hours (5.5) 15.1% 13.8%
7 or 8 hours (7.5) 6.7% 7.3%
More than 8 (8.5) 5.9% 3.8%
I can't remember (-) 2.5% 3.1%
None - I didn't lose any sleep (0) 1.3% 3.1%
Total 239 261

How sleep deprivation affects new parents

Lack of sleep affects our cognitive capabilities, meaning we are less alert, our thinking becomes less accurate and we become at greater risk of experiencing accidents. Reasoning also can become harder and the less sleep we have, the more we can lose the ability to problem solve.

Sleep deprivation can also affect our emotions. Contributing to low mood, severe tiredness can cause feelings of anxiety or depression to start. This, in turn, can result in frustration and irritability that may then begin to impact relationships with those around us.

Sleeping tips for new parents

Whatever its effect, a lack of sleep is no good for anyone, especially individuals who are now trying to navigate the world of parenthood.

Here at Bensons For Beds, we want all new parents, especially those who are sleep deprived, to know they’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of sleeping tips below, to endeavour to ensure all new parents can get as much sleep as possible to focus on spending quality time making memories with their little ones.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

Something we’re sure you’ll have been told before: make sure you’re sleeping when the baby does. Take full advantage of your baby’s nap times, whether it’s daytime or night-time.

It’s easy to worry about ignoring their other responsibilities and can start to feel overwhelmed. However, taking time to recharge when your baby is asleep can help you to regain your energy to function healthily, which should make your other tasks easier. 

Create a routine where possible

Routine can be hard for new parents but making a conscious effort to create one can be a big help.

Try to keep your baby active in the daytime and create a more ambient environment in the evening. This will help them learn the difference between day and night and, as they get older, help them differentiate when to be awake and when to sleep. 

Try relaxation exercises

Trying to switch off after hours of caring for your baby can be hard. Taking five or ten minutes to do a simple meditation or relaxation exercise will help prepare your mind and body for sleep, helping it to switch off and relax.

Avoid caffeine

Reaching for a coffee might feel like the only thing that’s energising you when you’re so tired, but caffeine can be another factor in your sleep deprivation. Avoiding caffeine means you won’t have to wait for it to wear off to go to sleep, so your body is more ready for you to rest at any opportune moment.

Share the load

Whether this is sharing the night-time duties with your partner or a loved one or simply just asking for help - make sure you share your load. Being a new parent is hard, your life can change dramatically, and it can be difficult to keep up with it.

Don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure to speak to the people who love you. 

Be comfortable in bed

The last thing you need when you’re trying to take advantage of any precious time to sleep, is to be uncomfortable in bed. If you’re squirming to get comfy or finding that your body isn’t feeling well supported, a  new mattress can make a big difference.   





authors profile
Rachel Marshall
Brand Manager
Rachel has worked at Bensons for Beds for 4 years and has almost 20 years' experience in marketing. In her role at Bensons, Rachel looks after all things brand including PR, brand communications, brand identity, brand partnerships and new product launches.
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