Differences Between Men, Women, and Sleep

September 18, 2019

Differences Between Men, Women, and Sleep

I’m female. I’m married to a male. I need sleep. He needs sleep. You would think that since we’re both humans when it comes to sleep, our needs would be the same, wouldn’t you? It appears that’s not the case. Males and females have a few differences when it comes to sleep, including items such as how we sleep, and also how much sleep we need. Specifically, what are some of these differences between men, women, and sleep?

  • Women need more sleep than men, as indicated in sleep studies - The next time your husband doesn’t believe that you need more sleep than he does, you can show him the linked article and tell him you have scientific proof to back up your claim.
  • Men’s brains are less active than women - This is by no means an indicator of intelligence, it only illustrates that men use their brains quite differently than women do, and this different way of thinking has an impact on our sleep.
  • Women experience more hormonal fluctuations that affect their sleep - An example are those fluctuations are those that occur during menopause, causing symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, which in turn cause a lack of sleep.
  • Men are more prone to suffer from sleep apnea - Many medical conditions, including but not limited to sleep apnea, harm sleep. More men happen to suffer more from sleep apnea than women do.
  • Women are more likely than men to report having problems sleeping (and to reach out for help when it happens) - Men don’t like asking for directions because they think they appear weak when they ask for help. The same thing happens when they don’t sleep well, they don’t feel comfortable reporting it or asking for assistance.
  • Men do not recover as quickly as women can when they experience a lack of sleep - If a woman is sleep-deprived during the week, she can “catch up” a little more easily than a man can (though we can never fully “catch up” on lost sleep).
  • Women tend to function better when slightly sleep-deprived as opposed to men - It could be the maternal instinct kicking in, forcing women to push through even when having feelings of tiredness, that enables women to function better than men do when tired.
  • Men’s circadian rhythms are longer - This isn’t bad or good, just a difference between men and women that was noticed when researchers studied sleep.

So it seems that men and women are different, after all, especially when it comes to sleep. Knowing the differences is the first step to help us to counteract any negative complications that might impact us.

Are you male or female?
Did you ever notice any of these differences between the sexes when it comes to sleep?
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