Which interrupts sleep of new moms more: breastfeeding or formula?

Any new mom can attest to being tired. Nighttime feedings are usually the culprit, so how does breastfeeding compare to formula feeding in terms of sleep disruption?

It really makes no difference, Julie’s Health Club blog of the Chicago Tribune reports. “When researchers looked at the impact of different feeding methods on a mother’s sleep, they found no differences in the time or quality of their sleep,” Julie Deardorff writes in explaining a new study published Monday.

And really, for new moms, sleep is more about quality than quantity. A separate study by West Virginia University published in the fall found that new moms get about seven hours of sleep per night.

That’s a healthy amount of shuteye, but not when it’s interrupted and moms are robbed of the deep REM sleep that’s vital to rest.


“In order to sleep effectively, you have to get through the complete sleep cycle, Hawley Montgomery-Downs, assistant professor of psychology who researched sleep cycles of new moms, said in a statement. “When your sleep is constantly interrupted, it causes enormous sleep fragmentation, which affects the women’s functions in the daytime.”

OK, so what about sleep cycles for new dads? Guess we’ll have to wait for that study.