Adequate sleep linked to parental satisfaction with life

Summary: The study shows that adequate sleep improves parents’ mental health and overall well-being.

source: Pennsylvania state

New research findings from a multi-university research team that includes Danielle Simmons Downs, professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology and associate director of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State, show that getting enough sleep for parents plays an important role. in their mental health, and thus their satisfaction with life.

The research team analyzed the couples’ sleep, physical activity, mental health, and life satisfaction. Their findings, published in the journal sleep healthindicated that meeting sleep guidelines was associated with better mental health and, in turn, parents’ satisfaction with their lives.

In addition, positive changes in mental health were observed in women, especially for first-time mothers, but no changes were observed for men regardless of paternal status.

This shows parents sleeping next to their baby
The research team analyzed the couples’ sleep, physical activity, mental health, and life satisfaction. The image is in the public domain

“Given the known decreases in physical activity for most couples transitioning into parenthood and our findings in this study that most fathers did not adhere to the recommended hours of sleep, targeted approaches that tailor intervention doses to changing physical activity and sleep needs,” Downs explained, Throughout the perinatal and postnatal period they may be a useful intervention strategy for improving and optimally maintaining the long-term mental health of parents.

For parents who can’t make more time in their schedule to sleep, the research team recommends avoiding eating large meals and drinking caffeine close to bedtime. This lets the body know it’s time to relax.

The study showed that physical activity has little effect on the mental health of parents. However, getting the recommended hours of sleep was linked to better mental health for fathers,” said senior author Alison Devine, lecturer at the University of Leeds.

“Although it varied, most parents fell about one hour below the recommended hours of sleep. Small improvements in sleep hours can have a significant impact on parents’ mental health. This suggests that an intervention that prioritizes healthy sleep education for new parents can to have a more positive impact on their quality of life.”

About this sleep research and mental health news

author: press office
source: Pennsylvania state
Contact: Press Office – Pennsylvania
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: open access.
The effect of sleep and movement on mental health and life satisfaction during the transition to parenthoodWritten by Alison Devine et al. sleep health


The effect of sleep and movement on mental health and life satisfaction during the transition to parenthood

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This study evaluated whether sleep and physical activity affect mental health and life satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. This study assessed the effect of fatherhood on the mental health of new fathers and fathers expecting their second child, and whether the change in mental health occurred bilaterally between couples.


A 12-month longitudinal study.


One hundred and fifty-seven (n = 314) couples aged 25 to 40 who were not expecting to have a child (n = 102), are expecting their first child (n = 136), or are expecting their second child (n = 76) were recruit them.


Participants completed measures at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Sleep was assessed by the number of times the participants adhered to the sleep guidelines (7-9 hours). Physical activity was measured objectively via accelerometers. Psychological health It was measured using the 6-item Short Form 12 Quality of Life Questionnaire. Satisfaction with life was assessed by the Life Satisfaction Scale (5 items).


Mental health was not predicted by physical activity but was predicted by sleep. Sleep at 6 months was positively associated with mental health at 6 months (β = 0.156, s <.001), and sleep at 12 months had a positive association with mental health at 12 months (β = 0.170, s <.001). The change in mental health did not occur in binary: the mental health of women increased but not of men across groups. Mental health was positively associated with life satisfaction at 6 months (β = 0.338, s <.001) and 12 months (β = 0.277, s <.001).


For new parents, getting enough sleep plays an important role in mental health, and therefore life satisfaction.

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