Single parents reading this right now are probably nodding their heads and thinking, "Well, I could have told you that!" And now there's data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to back it up.
According to the CDC report, single parents of children under 18 – particularly women – get less sleep and experience more sleep-related problems than adults in other living situations.
Among the single parents surveyed, 43.5% of women and 37.5% of men reported that they get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. For adults in two-parent families and adults living without children, the numbers dropped to 31.2% and 29.7%, respectively.
The CDC found that single parents are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, and that they frequently wake up feeling unrested. These sleep-related problems were consistently the most common among the women in the group.
Unfortunately, insufficient sleep is more than just an inconvenience that leaves you feeling tired. Adults with sleep-related problems are at higher risk of physical and mental health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
In some cases, adults who experience insufficient sleep could be suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. For men, chronic, loud snoring is usually a telltale sign of sleep apnea. For women, symptoms often present themselves differently: insomnia, disrupted sleep, chronic fatigue and depression may occur without any persistent snoring.
If you're a single parent who has difficult sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor about potential remedies.