Wide awake

By Melody HansenLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

New parents are tired. That's just the way it is. When you have a child, you say goodbye to restful sleep for a few years. But is it true that they "just have to go through it"? The Lëtzebuerger Journal asked parents and experts.

Seven hours of sleep per night is the ideal condition for good mental health and performance in adults. Researchers from the USA and China published this finding this year in the journal Nature Aging. Asia Sinoradzka and Marc Gérard have not slept more than a few hours per night for over a year now. The reason: 16-month-old Billie. Many young parents around the world feel the same way.

Asia, Marc and Billie are having dinner when we visit them at their home in Belvaux. It's almost bedtime. Billie does not look tired yet. After she has finished eating, it is time for the bedtime ritual: brushing her teeth, reading her a story, being breastfed. Marc takes care of the first two points while Asia tells us about her daughter's sleeping behaviour.

Asia and Marc were aware that the first weeks with a newborn would be tough. When their daughter finally slept well and for a long time after two and a half months, they considered themselves lucky: "We were the proud parents who told everyone how good their child was sleeping …", says Asia. Her look and the shadows under her eyes reveal that this happiness did not last for long. "It lasted until she was three and a half months old. I remember the day clearly – it was my mother's name day – we haven't slept since that night. Thirteen months without sleep."

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