According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) single mothers are the most sleep deprived people in the United States.
The report was published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and its results were based on responses to the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by the NCHS.
The officials found that 44% of single moms, living with children under the age of 18, fall short of recommendations to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Comparatively single dads who live with their kids fare a little better and 38% of them sleep less than seven hours per night. The report also added that, overall single parents had the worst odds of getting a good night’s sleep. However, couples with children in their homes also suffered with 33% of them slept less than seven hours per night, compared with 31% of adults who didn’t live with kids.
The researchers added that even though the difference is small, it was still statistically significant.
Dr. Stuart Quan, a sleep medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who was not part of the study, commented on the findings, “It is not surprising that single parents top the list of the sleep-deprived. In families with just one parent the demands on that parent are significantly greater than those on adults in a two-parent family. In general, people tend to sacrifice sleep when they have competing priorities, such as work, family responsibilities and social obligations.”
For their report, the researchers from CDC analyzed data gathered in the 2013-2014 National Health Interview Survey. The survey is conducted annually with around 44,000 adults split equally between men and women.
The researchers added that women in all kinds of families, whether single parent, two-parent or in households with no children, were more likely than men to experience difficulty getting to sleep and remaining asleep.
The researchers insisted that a good night’s sleep is important for the long-term health and it should be a national priority. They added that sleep-deprived people face higher risks of depression, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.