Missing Out On Z's

07.27.10 New parents rack up six months' worth of lost snooze time in baby's first 2 years.


By the time a newborn turns 2, new parents will have missed out on six months' worth of sleep, the Daily Mail reports out of Britain. Most new parents get less than four hours of uninterrupted sleep per night because of constantly getting up to soothe or feed the baby, according to the recent study commissioned by the Silentnight bed company in the United Kingdom.

Most adults need at least five hours of sleep to function properly and some need up to eight, sleep experts say in the study. But almost 64 percent of parents with babies 2 and younger get about 3.75 hours, according to the Silentnight poll. In the span of two years, that means the majority of new parents are awake for 912 hours of baby duty, the Daily Mail reports.

As a result, the lack of sleep builds up for new parents, who end up chronically tired and more prone to mood swings and depression.

Before baby arrives, try our Sleep Like a Baby tips for our trimester-by-trimester guide to help you get the rest you need now and even in the "fourth trimester," when you'll face a brand-new sleep challenge: your new baby!

Worried about how you're going to get the rest that you need once baby has arrived? Our experts share their answers to the questions most parents-to-be have about sleep and a new baby.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.