While birth of a child is a matter of joy to parents, it has drastic effects on first-time mothers’ sleep for up to six years, finds a study.

The findings showed in the first three months after birth, mothers slept one hour less compared with pre-pregnancy period, while father’s sleep duration decreased by 15 minutes.

“While having children is a major source of joy for most parents, it is possible that increased demands and responsibilities associated with the role as a parent lead to shorter sleep and decreased sleep quality even up to six years after birth of the first child.”

“Women tend to experience more sleep disruptions than men after the birth of a child, reflecting that mothers are still the primary caregiver than fathers,” said Sakari Lemola, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick.

When the children were four-six years old, sleep duration was still about 20 minutes shorter in mothers and 15 minutes shorter in fathers compared with their pre-pregnancy sleep.