New Moms Are Tired
What we learned: Sixty percent of you say you definitely need to bag a few more ZZZs than you're getting. One-third of you report that you get less than six hours of sleep a night. The sleepiest group was mothers of newborns.
What surprised us: First-time moms reported that they generally felt well rested, even though the majority of them are getting less than six hours of sleep a night.
So why are the walking weary so cheery? We found three reasons. The first, as a new mom reports, is "sheer new-parent joy, plus a healthy dose of adrenaline." The second is a bit more disconcerting. There's quite a bit of research that shows that overall, people are very bad at predicting how sleepy they are, says Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, associate professor of psychology at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night (Harper Perennial). New mothers are no exception. In addition, the less sleep you get over time, the harder it is to catch up, and the more impaired your judgment becomes. Even if you feel good on less than six hours of rest a night, eventually all of that lost sleep with catch up with you, Mindell says. Everyone needs seven and a half to eight and a half hours per night to perform at their best.
However, another reason why you're all not so sleepy could be how you're choosing to feed your little one. Two-thirds of you are exclusive bottlefeeders; bottlefed babies tend to sleep for longer periods than their breastfed counterparts.