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Sleep Improves For Fathers As Kids Grow Older

By Carlie Dobkin
June 05, 2017
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Following our preliminary research on the quality of sleep for parents, which found that fathers get less sleep than mothers, we analyzed the data again to explore what other factors may affect the quality of a father's sleep. We found that for fathers with children ages 0 to 5 years, their sleep suffered significantly more than for those with teenage children ages 15 to 20. 

After analyzing survey responses in correlation to the true sleep data collected from our sleep tracking technology, we learned that fathers with children under 5 years old had lower sleep scores than fathers with children ages 15 to 20. Men with younger children had an average sleep score of 69 while men with older children had a sleep score of 74. That is a 5 point difference! When self-reporting their sleep quality, men with younger children were less likely to rate their sleep as restful, with 44% saying their sleep quality was "good" compared to 65% of fathers with older children. 

Other factors were considered, such as occupation and marital status, but those did not have a notable impact on a father’s sleep. Being married or in a domestic partnership had a slight significance that deserves to be mentioned. On average, 47% of married fathers rated their sleep as “good” compared to 39% of divorced fathers. Married fathers also slept the longest with 7 hours 23 minutes while divorced fathers only slept an average of 6 hours 24 minutes. Moreover, divorced fathers had the lowest sleep score -  61.5. Despite this stark contrast, further analysis is required due to a skewed number of married participants.

The conclusions from this report confirm previous studies about fatherhood and sleep. According to a 2013 study, new fathers missed more sleep than mothers. Of 21 mother-father pairs enjoying their first infant experience, fathers actually got less sleep than the mothers and experienced more confirmed sleepiness. The good news is that sleep gets better with age. As the children grow up, fathers reported higher sleep quality and saw higher sleep scores; whereas, mothers did not follow that pattern.

To read the full report, click here