City Research Online

Sleep hours and quality before and after baby: Inequalities by gender and partnership

Chao, S-Y., Perelli-Harris, B., Berrington, A. & Blom, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-0742-4554 (2023). Sleep hours and quality before and after baby: Inequalities by gender and partnership. Advances in Life Course Research, 55, article number 100518. doi: 10.1016/j.alcr.2022.100518


While prior studies have examined sleep across the lifecourse, few studies have investigated sleep around the birth of a child, one of the most important events to cause sleep deprivation. This study investigates changes in sleep hours and quality, paying attention to differences by gender and partnership status. Using the UK Household Longitudinal Study, we follow approximately 1,000 participants as they transition into parenthood in a three-year window. We use OLS and logistic regression to analyze changes in sleep hours and sleep quality. Results suggest that women’s sleep is reduced by an average of 0.7 hours (42 min) on becoming a mother. Whilst before parenthood women sleep more than men, after childbirth women and men sleep similar amounts. Cohabiting men experience a greater reduction in sleep by around 0.5 hours (30 min) than married men, to the level similar to women, suggesting that new cohabiting fathers may experience more sleep disturbances.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Life course, Partnership status, Fertility, Sleep, Gender equality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Violence and Society Centre
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S1040260822000582-main.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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