Science Says Sleep and Exercise Can Affect New Moms Differently Than New Dads
New parents will want to read this one.
The first few months of being a new parent are wonderful. However, days can be hectic, and that chaos usually means mom and dad aren’t getting a lot of sleep or exercise. A new study showed that this lack of quality sleep and time in the gym affects moms and dads differently.
According to a new study from Penn State University, sleep is more essential for moms and exercising is more essential for dads.
For the study, researchers collected data from 143 mothers and 140 fathers around 10 months after having a baby. The parents were interviewed separately about their sleeping patterns, exercise routines and the overall wellbeing of everyone in the home.
What they found was that moms who reported getting more sleep said they felt better overall and were bonding with their baby. Meanwhile, dads who got more sleep were the opposite. Dads reported lower wellbeing and displayed less closeness, not only with their child but with their partner as well.
Results changed for dads who incorporated exercise into their routine. These fathers reported less arguments with their partners on the days they worked out. However, moms who hit the gym reported more arguments with their partner. This one left us a bit confused, but researchers think the extra burst of energy from working out may affect mom, her hormones and the lack of sleep.
So, it looks like mom needs to prioritize extra hours of sleep and dad needs to squeeze in few hours at the gym.
Regardless of this study or any other, if you're a new parent be sure to prioritize communication with your partner to ensure that you both are getting what you need during this exciting—but stressful!—time.