Friday, October 20, 2006

Most mothers don't get enough sleep

Half of U.S. mothers are not getting enough sleep and they believe getting more rest would make them better parents, according to a U.S. study.

A nationwide survey of 500 mothers by research firm Braun Research found 54 percent of respondents said they were not getting enough sleep.

Full-time working mothers were suffering the most with 59 percent saying they were not getting enough sleep. Half of the working mothers said they were getting six or fewer hours sleep a night.

Stay-at-home moms fared better with 48 percent saying they were sleep deficient.

The survey found 52 percent of America's mothers believed that getting more sleep would make them better parents and 65 percent said it would make them happier.

But even when mothers do get into bed, many lie awake at night with 36 percent obsessing about the next day's tasks, 25 percent stressing about the family's finances and 24 percent worrying about family issues.

"Consistently not getting enough sleep and lying awake at night worrying about day-to-day challenges could be a sign of insomnia," said sleep specialist Suzanne Griffin, a clinical psychiatrist from Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.

But the survey found although sleep problems were prevalent among mothers, four out of five had not spoken to their doctor about it and 82 percent never considered using a prescription sleep medication.

Griffin suggested that mothers stick to a sleep schedule, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks late in the afternoon and before bedtime, and create a sleep environment that is cool, quiet, dark and comfortable.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited.

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