Between the birth and the age of two years, babies cause sleep loss totalling an average six months in their parents, according to the results of a study from Silentnight. Of 1000 parents polled in the research, it was found that the average length of uninterrupted sleep was around four hours, although the lower end of the scale found the most suffering parents achieved less than two and a half of sleep.
The fragmented sleep patterns result in parents not getting the restorative sleep they need to function at full capacity the following day, and the signs of sleep deprivation such as irritability and poor productivity entering their daily lives.
The most common disturbances reported, predictably, were babies crying, but the process of getting back to sleep after night-time awakenings was claimed to be a major issue.
“You need a minimum of five hours uninterrupted sleep in one go,” said Iftikhar Mirza, in the Daily Express. “An hour here and there doesn’t negate ‘sleep debt.”