The Effects of Baby-Induced Fatigue on the Workplace

New research compares children’s sleep data with their parents’ employment records.

If you’re a parent you know that a baby can seriously mess with your sleep. Now a new study connects “baby-induced fatigue” to its effects on the workplace, reporting that sleep-deprived parents — especially moms — are less productive and may earn less as a result.

Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science analyzed sleep data from 14,000 British families collected from a child’s birth to their 25th birthday. It included detailed information like how often kids woke up during the night, according to this piece about the findings in The Guardian. The researchers then compared that data to the parents’ employment information.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

The results show just how hard it is to be a new parent with a not-sleeping baby and a full-time job, especially if you’re a mom. Every time a baby woke during the night, moms lost about 30 minutes of sleep. And for every additional hour babies slept, moms only gained 12 minutes of shut eye. This has profound effects — if moms scored a precious extra hour of sleep, they saw a 4 percent increase in employment prospects, a 7 percent increase in the hours they work and an 11 percent increase in household income. As the study authors told The Guardian, “The effects of parental sleep on economic performance are substantial.” The change in dad’s sleep and performance was only about half of what moms experienced.

Read more at The Guardian.