EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION IN BABIES - Parenting and relationship (2023)


Babies are born with an innate desire to sleep, but unfortunately, many of them don’t get enough sleep in their early months and years. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), babies between 1 and 3 months old need 11-14 hours of sleep a day, while babies aged 4-6 months need 10-12 hours of sleep a day. However, by the time your baby is 8-12 months old, they’ll only need about 8 hours of sleep a day.

There are many reasons for this change in sleep needs – babies grow quickly and start to learn new things, parents become more active at night, and room temperatures start to fluctuate. However, the biggest reason for the decrease in baby’s sleeping time is probably due to the increased use of electronic devices by parents. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, more than half of American parents report using electronic devices within one hour of bedtime for their children under age 2.

While it’s definitely important for babies to get plenty of rest, depriving them of sleep can have serious consequences. According to the CDC, babies who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to experience problems including: fussiness or crying during the day.

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a state in which an individual does not get the amount of sleep they need. Sleep deprivation can have different effects on different individuals. Babies are especially sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation, and can experience a number of negative consequences. Here are some of the most common effects of sleep deprivation in babies:

1. Babies can be irritable and crying for hours after being deprived of sleep.

2. They can be slower to learn and retain information, and may have difficulty concentrating.

3. Babies can develop problems with their mood and behavior, including becoming more clingy and demanding.

4. Their immune systems can be weakened, leading to more sicknesses and infections.

How does sleep deprivation affect babies?

There are many negative effects of sleep deprivation on babies, both short- and long-term. Short-term effects may include irritability, decreased feeding, and difficulty regulating body temperature. Long-term effects may include poor cognitive development, problems with school performance, and mood disorders.

It is important for parents to get their baby enough sleep each night to ensure their health and well-being. Babies who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have problems in school and other areas of their lives. It is also important to note that infants who are not getting enough sleep may become fussy and cranky as they tire more quickly in the evening.

Effects of sleep deprivation on brain development

A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics showed that babies who are chronically sleep deprived have a decreased ability to think abstractly and creatively. According to the study, sleep deprivation has a negative impact on brain development and can lead to deficits in creativity and problem solving skills.

The journal article goes on to say that babies who get less than the recommended amount of sleep are more likely to have problems with memory, attention span, language development, motor skills, and overall cognitive function. These problems can persist into adulthood.

If you’re finding it difficult to get your baby to fall asleep by following the standard routines outlined in this post, you might want to consider some other tips for getting them to bed. Some parents find that playing calming music before bedtime helps their babies drift off peacefully. Others try topical applications like lavender oil or chamomile tea before bedtime as they are known to be soothing. If none of those work, then it might be time to introduce a sleep schedule modification such as limiting daytime activities or taking the baby out for a longer walk after lunchtime.

Effects of sleep deprivation on physical health in babies

One of the most common complaints from parents is that their baby is not sleeping enough. In many cases, the lack of sleep is simply due to a busy schedule or because babies are used to a different sleep schedule. However, there are also real physical health consequences to insufficient sleep.

Sleep deprivation can cause problems with mood, concentration and alertness. It can also lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can be a serious risk factor for accidents and injuries.

When it comes to the developing brain, inadequate sleep has been linked with problems with memory, problem solving and other cognitive functions. Babies who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have trouble making friends and forming relationships as they get older.

There are several things you can do to help your baby get the rest he or she needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive at least 12 hours of continuous sleep each day. If your baby isn’t getting enough sleep, try to schedule a nap during the day so he or she can catch up on missed slumber. You can also try putting your baby in a crib that allows him or her to fall asleep on his or her own or using

Sleep deprivation in babies is dangerous

Sleep deprivation in babies can have dangerous effects, including impaired cognitive function and increased risk for developing problems such as obesity. Babies who are not getting enough sleep are more likely to be irritable, have trouble regulating their emotions, and develop problems with their attention span and memory. These problems can persist into adulthood, leading to difficulties in job performance, maintaining relationships, and managing stress.

When babies are deprived of sleep, their brains don’t get the chance to grow and develop properly. This can lead to decreased IQ scores, delayed motor skills, and even developmental delays. In extreme cases, babies can even die from sleep deprivation. While there is no single cause for any of these problems, not getting enough sleep is a major factor.

If you’re worried about your baby’s sleep habits, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend tools or treatments that will help your baby get the proper amount of sleep.

What are the effects of sleep deprivation in babies?

Sleep deprivation has serious effects on a baby’s development and health. It can lead to problems with attention, learning, behavior, and mood.
Here are some of the most common effects of sleep deprivation in babies:
– Sleep deprivation can cause a baby to become irritable and cranky
– Sleep deprivation can make a baby tired and sleepy
– Sleep deprivation can make a baby less alert and less able to concentrate
– Sleep deprivation can cause babies to cry more often
– Sleep deprivation can lead to problems with motor skills and coordination

Ways to get enough sleep for your baby

There are many ways to get enough sleep for your baby, but it’s important to find the method that works best for you and your family. Here are some tips:

– Make sure you get enough sleep yourself. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it will be hard for your baby to do so as well. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day so that your baby can learn what is considered a normal sleep schedule.

– Keep your baby’s room dark and quiet. Bright lights and noise can keep babies from falling asleep.

– Let your baby cry it out if he or she is not sleeping through the night. This means letting your baby cry until they fall asleep, usually in their crib or bassinet. It may take a few nights, but eventually your baby will learn to fall asleep on their own without relying on you.

– Avoid using electronic screens in the middle of the night. This way, you can avoid exposing your baby to screens which can interfere with their sleep patterns.


It is no secret that sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on an individual’s health and well-being. In this article, we will explore some of the effects that sleep deprivation has on babies, both in the short and long term. We will look at how sleep deprivation affects cognitive development, nursery behavior, and even physical health. Ultimately, we hope this information will help you better understand why it is so important for newborns to get enough rest – both during the day and at night.

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EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION IN BABIES - Parenting and relationship? ›

Studies show that new parents are, indeed, exhausted, losing on average 3 hours of sleep every night during their child's first year! With this sleep loss, you and your partner may find yourself out of step, irrationally upset with each other or have trouble connecting physically and mentally.

Does sleep deprivation affect relationships? ›

In short: When we're deprived of sleep, we're more likely to overreact to situations that normally wouldn't rattle us. “This can lead to more conflict and less satisfying relationships,”says Jennifer L. Martin, a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at UCLA.

How does lack of sleep affect parenting? ›

Sleep Deprivation and Parenting

Research shows that sleep deprivation can also negatively impact positive parenting. View Source . Positive parenting involves being responsive and warm toward your child. Preliminary research shows that caregivers who sleep less experience higher levels of stress.

Can not sleeping baby affect marriage? ›

It's natural to worry about the strain that sleep deprivation places on your relationship. But rest assured that not getting enough sleep is unlikely to cause serious problems if you're an otherwise happy couple. However, if your baby doesn't sleep well, it can make you feel irritable and depressed.

What might be some consequences of inadequate sleep for both parents and newborns? ›

In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to postpartum depression. Furthermore, mom's sleep deprivation has been proven to increase the risk of postpartum depression in both parents. That's right, dad can suffer from perinatal mood disorders too.

How Sleep deprivation can damage social interactions? ›

Sleep loss also blunted activity in brain regions that normally encourage social engagement. “The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact.

Can a relationship survive without sleeping in the same bed? ›

Sleeping separately doesn't have to signal problems in the relationship. If you normally live with your partner, and you're worried that trialling separate bedrooms could signal problems in a relationship that's otherwise strong and healthy, don't be.

What is depleted mother syndrome? ›

What is Depleted Mother Syndrome (DMS)? In a nutshell, Depleted Mother Syndrome (DMS) occurs when demands on the mother increase, and her resources decrease. As a result of this imbalance, the mother's emotional sensitivity to both internal, and external triggers becomes heightened.

Does lack of sleep affect a child's behavior? ›

Children's developing brains are especially sensitive to inadequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in mood/behavior problems, and for children who already struggle with mental health problems, inadequate sleep can make symptoms even worse.

How long does it take for babies to deprive their parents of sleep? ›

New parents will get just four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby's life, it has emerged. In the first 12 months of a child's life, mothers and fathers sleep 59 per cent less than the recommended eight hours a night, losing the equivalent of 50 nights of sleep.

Does having a baby decrease marital satisfaction? ›

After having a baby, most married couples become less satisfied with their relationships, and that can have negative mental health consequences for their children.

Why is my wife not sleeping after baby? ›

Postpartum insomnia can arise for a few different reasons. One relates to hormonal shifts that occur after delivery. Once you give birth, your levels of estrogen and progesterone drop precipitously. These hormones influence circadian rhythms, your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

Does a baby ever save a marriage? ›

Studies have also debunked this notion that a baby can save the marriage. They say that a couple's satisfaction in the marriage can start waning after the first child is born.

How do I deal with lack of sleep with my newborn and toddler? ›

Sleep and tiredness after having a baby
  1. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Try to rest when your baby sleeps. ...
  2. Get an early night. ...
  3. Share the nights if you can. ...
  4. Ask friends and relatives for extra support. ...
  5. Understand your baby's sleep patterns. ...
  6. Try to do more exercise. ...
  7. Try relaxation exercises. ...
  8. Do not let stress get on top of you.

What are three examples of consequences caused by insufficient sleep? ›

Sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression. Sleep deficiency is also linked to a higher chance of injury in adults, teens, and children.

What behaviors are associated with sleep deprivation? ›

Restricting sleep below an individual's optimal time in bed (TIB) can cause a range of neurobehavioral deficits, including lapses of attention, slowed working memory, reduced cognitive throughput, depressed mood, and perseveration of thought.

What are emotional or cognitive effects of sleep deprivation? ›

Sleep deprivation can exacerbate pre-existing mood disturbances, such as anger, depression, and anxiety, and can lead to confusion, fatigue, and lack of vigor. Even just one sleepless night correlates with these changes in function [5].

How does sleep affect social and emotional development? ›

sleep habits in infancy may also affect the developmental trajectory of parent-perceived internalizing problems, such as shyness, inhibition, depression, and separation anxiety. child is overactive and noncompliant, but rather the “overtired” toddler will more likely be socially withdrawn and anxious.

What is sleep divorce? ›

People are taking to social media to talk about "sleep divorces," the idea of sleeping separately from your partner to get a better night's sleep. On TikTok, there are more than 355,000 views for the hashtag #sleepdivorce — and experts say there can be potential benefits.

What happens when couples stop sleeping together? ›

Not sleeping together can create loneliness and lead to emotional and physical detachment. Bedtime for couples is crucial for cuddling and connecting intimately on an emotional and physical level.

How many married couples don't sleep in the same bed? ›

A January 2023 survey of 2,200 Americans by the International Housewares Association for The New York Times revealed some startling statistics: One in five couples sleep, not just in separate beds, but in separate bedrooms, and of those couples who sleep apart, nearly two thirds do it every night.

What is super mom syndrome? ›

“Supermom Syndrome” refers to a mother's constant need to accomplish everything possible perfectly, often setting unattainable goals for herself. Tell-tale signs of Supermom Syndrome: Everything relating to the household has to be in perfect condition all the time.

What is the stay at home mom syndrome? ›

Stay-at-home mom burnout refers to a state of chronic stress and exhaustion experienced by moms who have the full-time job of taking care of a home and kids. Burnout can also impact mothers who have careers outside of their home, too.

What does an emotionally absent mother look like? ›

What Is an Emotionally Absent Mother? “An emotionally absent mother is not fully present and especially not to the emotional life of the child. She may be depressed, stretched too thin and exhausted, or perhaps a bit numb.

How does a sleep deprived toddler act? ›

An overtired toddler may feel dizzy and be prone to tumbles and falls. Sleeping on short rides. Snoozing at school or conking out the minute he's in the car seat could also mean his night and naptime sleep is being shortchanged. Difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Can lack of sleep cause ADHD in children? ›

But it is the case that not getting enough sleep (even if your child doesn't qualify for a sleep disorder) can cause or worsen ADHD symptoms.

How do you recover from years of sleep deprivation? ›

Eating a well balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying mentally active, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check will improve sleep as well. You can also tackle any sleep problems by training your brain for better sleep.

How many hours of sleep do new parents get? ›

Here's what the survey found

The survey found that the majority of new parents are getting between 5 and 6 hours of sleep each night. Sadly, no surprises there. On average, each new parent loses a staggering 109 minutes of sleep every night for the first year after having a baby.

How much sleep does a mom need? ›

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. New parents lose about two hours of sleep per night for the first five months after bringing home their baby.

Do children grow out of sleeping with parents? ›

As long as there are no obligations – both parties are doing it because they want to – there is no issue. both parent and child can stop co-sleeping when they want. Co-sleeping is a learned behaviour, and can be unlearned at any time.

Why is my relationship falling apart after baby? ›

Sociologists theorize that, in heterosexual relationships, mothers are more unhappy with their marriages after they have children because they tend to take on more “second shift” work — child care and housework — and begin to feel that their relationships are no longer fair.

Why do so many couples break up after having a baby? ›

Among the most common reasons for separating were dwindling sex lives, a lack of communication and constant arguments. Some couples are lucky and, despite more than one in 10 resorting to a trial separation, they later got back together.

How does relationship change after baby? ›

It's a lot harder to go out together and enjoy the things you used to do. If you have a partner, they may feel left out, and you may resent what you see as a lack of support. But the stage when babies and children take up all your physical and emotional energy doesn't last forever.

What will happen to the baby if the mother lacks sleep? ›

Specifically, women who are sleep deprived during pregnancy may experience longer labor, more pain and discomfort during labor, higher rates of preterm labor and cesarean section.

Will I ever sleep again as a mom? ›

So yes, you will sleep again. It'll happen slowly over time, but one morning you'll blink your well-rested eyes, your babies will be in their own big-kid beds, and you'll wonder, “Were those sleepless nights really so bad?”

Why does my wife keep crying after having a baby? ›

Baby blues are the mood swings you may experience after the birth of your baby that can result in unexplained crying and feelings of sadness, anxiety or irritability. Drops in estrogen, progesterone, and hormones produced by the thyroid gland can trigger these symptoms, but luckily, they don't last forever.

What is the divorce rate for marriages due to pregnancy? ›

For example, statistics show marriages that occur due to an unplanned pregnancy have a 90% divorce rate within six years of getting married. It may seem like you are doing the honorable thing by getting married because of an unplanned pregnancy, but you have to think about the long-term ramifications of your decision.

Does a baby bring a couple closer together? ›

It's a family affair.

It's vital that both partners make the decision to have a child. When that's the case, a baby can positively enhance the relationship and bring the parents closer together. If parents aren't on the same page, having a child could be detrimental to you as a couple.

Can a baby fix a broken relationship? ›

Having a baby should never be an attempt to save a relationship or save a marriage. The problems you've had before having a baby will remain, and more problems or concerns are bound to develop with the added stressors of becoming parents.

How do parents survive sleep deprivation? ›

Usually, this involves getting your partner involved. For instance, they can take some of those night feedings, or bring the baby to you if you are breastfeeding. You also can consider having extended family or a postpartum doula/baby nurse come over regularly so you can catch up on sleep.

Why are new parents sleep-deprived? ›

Parents, especially mothers, get significantly less sleep for up to six years after childbirth. Experts say part of the reason is the disruption caused by young children waking up. Parents of young children also tend to go to bed later due to all their responsibilities.

Do babies catch up on missed sleep? ›

Chronically sleep-deprived babies will typically have 'catch-up' sleep from time to time. An overtired baby might crash at night, sleeping usually long periods without demanding feedings owing to physical exhaustion that occurs as a result of not receiving enough sleep during the day.

What are three effects the lack of sleep may cause in children? ›

These included impulsivity, stress, depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, and thinking problems. The children with insufficient sleep also had impaired cognitive functions such as decision making, conflict solving, working memory, and learning. Differences between the groups persisted at the two-year follow-up.

What are 8 effects of sleep deprivation? ›

An ongoing lack of sleep has been closely associated with hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety, decreased brain function, memory loss, weakened immune system, lower fertility rates and psychiatric disorders.

What are the consequences of sleep problems in children? ›

Insufficient sleep means not getting enough sleep at night, which can cause several problems including decreased brain development, learning problems and more frequent negative emotions.

How long does it take for a baby to recover from sleep deprivation? ›

With support from a partner (and frequently with help from professionals), it will take parents at least four additional months to catch up on the sleep lost in those first five months. Which means that, at best, you're not going to be back to normal until your baby is at least 9 months old.

How sleep deprived is a single mom? ›

According to a recent survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, those catching the least amount of shut-eye are single moms. The report found that 44 percent of single moms living with children under the age of 18 get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.

What effect does sleep have on relationships? ›

A lack of sleep leads individuals to become more socially avoidant, keeping greater social distance from others,” the researchers conclude. The poorly slept participants also reported feeling lonelier.

How do you deal with a sleep deprived partner? ›

8 Relationship Rules of Survival for the Sleep Deprived wife
  1. Nothing counts between 11pm-7am.
  2. Take turns.
  3. Don't give up on the bottle.
  4. Set aside time together.
  5. Don't judge your relationship while sleep deprived.
  6. Communicate how tired you are.
  7. Fix the sleep problem.
  8. Get marriage counseling.

Does lack of sleep make you less attractive? ›

A sleep-deprived, tired-looking face, with dark circles under the eyes and swollen eyelids [4], is perceived as less attractive and less healthy [5].

How important is sleeping together in a relationship? ›

Bedtime for couples is crucial for cuddling and connecting intimately on an emotional and physical level. One research study found that most people feel relaxed and nurtured, and it stimulates feelings of comfort, satisfaction, love, bonding, appreciation, and happiness when they go to bed together.

Why do I sleep so poorly with my partner? ›

Reasons You May Have Difficulty Sleeping in a Shared Bed. If your bed partner does anything to disrupt the bedroom environment – leaves on lamp lights, makes noise, has excessive movement, etc. – it will cause non-restorative, fragmented sleep that can result in chronic sleep deprivation.

Why do I sleep better when I'm with my boyfriend? ›

Physical closeness with a partner while in bed can stimulate the release of oxytocin, which has been shown to promote a sense of calm and relaxation, which may benefit sleep,” says Dr. Troxel. This release of sleep-promoting oxytocin can take place regardless of any intimate acts between the two of you.

Why can't I sleep when my partner is away? ›

So, why can't you sleep when your partner is away? It's simple - you're used to sleeping together, and the absence of their physical presence can throw off your routine. For most couples, once they fall into a routine of sleeping together every night, it's very hard to sleep without their partner.

How does a sleep deprived person act? ›

Grogginess when waking in the morning. Sleepy grogginess experienced all day long (sleep inertia) Poor concentration and mood changes (more irritable).

How do people with sleep deprivation act? ›

Mental health problems.

Sleep deprivation can cause moodiness and irritability, increase your risk of depression and anxiety, and affect your ability to cope with stress or manage difficult emotions. In extreme cases, sleep deprivation can even cause hallucinations and delirium.

What percentage of couples do not sleep together? ›

A January 2023 survey of 2,200 Americans by the International Housewares Association for The New York Times revealed some startling statistics: One in five couples sleep, not just in separate beds, but in separate bedrooms, and of those couples who sleep apart, nearly two thirds do it every night.

Do smart people sleep less? ›

Psychology Today reported that intelligent people are likely to be nocturnal beings, with those with a higher IQ going bed later on both weeknights and weekends.

How does sleep deprivation affect your appearance? ›

Sleep deprivation in both men and women was related to looking significantly more fatigued, having more hanging eyelids, redder eyes, more swollen eyes, darker circles under the eyes, more wrinkles/lines around the eyes, more droopy corners of the mouth, and being perceived as more sad.

Can lack of sleep make you uglier? ›

As a result, our faces look, well, uglier. And puffier. But where does the puff come from? Dark circles and bags appear when the body is unable to rejuvenate at night due to lack of sleep, says anesthesiologist, internist and bestselling author Dr.

How many times a week should you sleep with your partner? ›

“Normal” is whatever feels fulfilling for you and your partner, and communication plays a key role in making sure both parties feel fulfilled. That said, a 2017 study that appeared in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the average adult currently enjoys sex 54 times a year, which equates to about once a week.

How often should partners sleep together? ›

How much sex should a couple have? Once a week is a common baseline, experts say. That statistic depends slightly on age: 40- and 50-year-olds tend to fall around that baseline, while 20- to 30-year olds tend to average around twice a week.


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