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#ScienceSpeaks Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Are you a woman who wakes up grumpy most mornings? Do you and your partner often fight about who gets more sleep? Don’t be too hard on yourself, woman, because science says it’s only natural for you to wake up grumpy.

A new study at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has discovered that women need more sleep than men, and chances are she’s not getting enough. Researchers studied 210 middle-aged men and women, and found that women suffered greater health issues – both physical and mental – from sleep deprivation than men.

woman sleeping_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Women who skimped on their sleep had these to look forward to:

  • They are at a higher risk of heart disease, depression, and psychological probkems
  • Sleep deprived women are at a higher risk to have a stroke because they have extra clotting factors in their blood
  • Because they also have higher inflammation markers, they may develop other health problems. Since these inflammation markers are linked to pain, women can literally be in pain when they wake up.

In contrast, the study found that men’s health wasn’t closely linked to how much sleep they clocked in. Also, men didn’t show any increased risk for developing the diseases and conditions that affect women who are sleep deprived.

Suggested read: Here’s why women are attracted to the bad boys

Sleep expert Dr Robert Breus said,

“We found that women had more depression, women had more anger, and women had more hostility early in the morning.”

The researchers said,

“We found that for women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger. In contrast, these feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”

Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, England, is one of Britain’s leading authorities on sleep. And he found that women actually need 20 minutes more sleep than men, and the reason behind this is women multi-task most of the time.

woman sleeping_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

He said,

“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself. During deep sleep, the cortex – the part of the brain responsible for thought, memory, language and so one – disengages from the sense and goes into recovery mode. The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.”

Further, he said,

“Women tend to multi-task – they do lots at once and are flexible – and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater. A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male – though probably still not as much as a woman.”

So, there you have it. Since women’s brains are more complex and multi-task, they need more time to relax and recover overnight.

Now that you know that women need more sleep than men, let your significant other, sister, wife, mother, or girlfriend sleep in, eh?

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Science Says Women Need More Sleep Than Men
Men and women's brains are wired differently. And since women multi-task and use their brains more than men, women need more sleep than men. Here's proof.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg