Yes, Living With Kids Means Less Sleep—but Only for Women



Why are women always tired? Maybe it’s because we’re constantly trying to impress at work, balance our relationships with friends and family, and just do it all. Research shows that women actually require more sleep than men in order to properly function—and get this—it’s because our brains are more complex. “Women tend to multi-task—they do lots at once and are flexible—and so they use more of their actual brain than men do,” Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, told Metro.

And since it’s necessary to rest to process all of that information, it’s notable that women with children tend to get less sleep than those without, whereas their male partners see no difference in sleep levels, a new study reports. The study, detailed on The Huffington Post asked 5805 Americans in heterosexual relationships to track their sleep routines for a month and record how often they felt exhausted over this period of time.

The findings showed that for every child a woman aged 45 and under had, she was actually 50% less likely to sleep for six or more hours a night (remember, studies now suggest you should get around eight hours of restful sleep a night). A reported 48% of moms this age logged seven-plus hours of sleep while a whopping 62% of childless women logged that many sleep hours in comparison. What’s more, mothers said they felt tired for two weeks each month, and those without kids said they felt tired 11 days a month.

But what does this say about women and sleep? “I think these findings may bolster those women who say they feel exhausted,” study author Kelly Sullivan, PhD, said in a press release. “Getting enough sleep is a key component of overall health and can impact the heart, mind, and weight. It’s important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health.” So, to all the mothers and soon-to-be moms out there, listen to your body, get enough rest, and don't forget to ask your counterpart for help. In the long run, it will be worth it.

Feeling sleep-deprived? Pick up a luxe silk sleep mask ($100) to catch more z’s.