Do you think you get enough sleep? Do you think your spouse does? Well, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that if you are having trouble sleeping, you should to try exercising regularly, have a bedtime routine and limit caffeine and alcohol in your diet. Also, your spouse might not need quite the same amount of snooze time as you do. Why? Because women need more sleep than men.
The National Sleep Foundations says that “While women need more sleep than men, many are not getting the proper amount.” One sleep researcher, Jim Horne, who is the director of the Sleep Research Centre in England, explains why he believes women need more sleep. “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 on – disengages from the senses 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.
“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.”
According to leading sleep researchers, women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia as men are. Women have biological differences that make it more likely they will wake during the night, such as menopause and pregnancy.
Dr. Horne says that 18% of women, compared to 8% of men, have a bad night’s sleep at least 5 days per week. It is suggested to limit napping during the day and to turn off all electronic devices that may interrupt sleep, if quality of sleep is something one struggles with.
While many look to Horne as an authority, the sample size of the study suggesting this data is small, falling at just 210 people. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and that different jobs will use different kind of brain power, so there are plenty of men who will need more sleep too.
Regardless of which sex needs more sleep, it is important for women to consistently get full nights of rest. Skipping sleep is associated with higher instances of heart disease, psychological problems, increased inflammation markers, and even stroke.
It turns out that getting enough sleep is crucial to maintaining your health!