As a mother of 5 children, a full night's sleep is the stuff of dreams (pun intended).

It turns out that feeling like I'm constantly exhausted isn't just my imagination.

A recent study has shown that a mother and father's sleep suffers for up to 6 years after the birth of their child.

In the first 3 months after birth mothers slept on average 1 hour less than before pregnancy while fathers sleep duration decreased by approximately 15 minutes.

But things don't improve once parents are past this newborn stage.

When the children were 4-6 years old sleep duration was still about 20 minutes shorter in mothers and 15 minutes shorter in fathers compared to their sleep duration before pregnancy.

There is a multitude of factors that go into this insufficient sleep.

First, you have the tummy aches and nightmares that result in waking up to a child creepily staring at you.

Then, you have the always on edge, listening for a thump or barf noise can't really fall into a deep sleep problem...

Parents have also shared that the chaos and hustle and bustle of parenting keeps them from getting a good night's rest. The endless lists and what am I forgetting to do thoughts can prevent you from falling asleep quickly, no matter how exhausted you are.

Science says that after those first 6 years parents can expect to begin sleeping better, but you'll never recoup all those years you lost.

Good thing there are more than enough joys and perks (is there anything better than snuggling a sweet baby in footie jammies) to this parenting gig to make up for it ;)

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