Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

young woman sleeping on sofa at home

Research shows that women do, in most cases, need more sleep than men. Sleep doctors have studied people during sleep cycles for years, and found an enormous amount of useful information. Studies carried out at the Research Center of Loughborough University in England have discovered that women require more sleep than men because their brains require more recovery time from daily exertions.

There are some atypical cases where females need more sleep because they have sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing, but for our purposes, we are talking about average scenarios where only daily activities impact sleep quality at night. Females in the L.U. study were found to be much more vulnerable to stress and anxiety when deprived of sleep than men. Surprisingly, the same studies showed as little as 20 minutes of additional sleep was often enough to make up the difference, and put women on par with men, in terms of sleep vs. functionality. Below are some  reasons women require more sleep than males typically need.

Busier schedules

These days, most women have busier schedules than men do. Since both spouses are generally required to work, females have a work day to get through before they even get home to pick up on household duties as well. For instance, making meals, looking after children, housecleaning – all these activities pile up to make for a full day for most females. Even when the husband helps out around the house, the primary responsibility generally falls on females, and contributes to them having a busier day.

Hormonal changes

Women are subject to more hormonal imbalances than men are, for instance, going through puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. And each month, most women menstruate, which causes another imbalance in hormones. Since women are also more prone to anxiety, stress, and depression, they experience a number of changes throughout the month. All this requires more sleep to recover.

Less sleep means increased weight gain 

In many cases, having less sleep at night will lead to weight increase. When a person is sleep-deprived, higher amounts of cortisol are released into the bloodstream. With more cortisol in a person’s system, they will usually have a bigger appetite, which in turn promotes weight gain. In addition, anytime a person becomes stressed, more cortisol will be released into your body. Since women are more prone to the effects of stress in the first place, this represents two different ways that cortisol can work against them. 

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