Scientists from the University of California in Los Angeles have calculated how many years young mothers age, whose babies do not let them sleep at night.
The study involved 33 women who were under the supervision of scientists during pregnancy and in the first year of life of their babies. Throughout this time, researchers have regularly taken blood samples and analyzed their DNA to determine their biological age, which may differ significantly from chronological.
Participants slept between 5 and 9 hours at night. But more than half of them slept less than 7 hours a day, both six months and a year after giving birth.
It turned out that a year after the birth of a child, the biological age of young mothers who slept less than 7 hours a day was 3–7 years older than that of mothers who slept 7 hours or more.
Studies have shown that women who slept less than 7 hours had shorter telomeres in their white blood cells. These are the terminal sections of DNA that play a protective role. The shorter they are, the higher the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and early death of a person.
Every hour of extra sleep reduces a woman’s biological age, scientists emphasize. According to them, the first months of sleep deprivation after childbirth can have a long-term negative impact on health.