Women Need More Sleep than Men – Science Says So
Written by: Kat Gal
I am not a morning person. At all.
Waking up before dawn. Forget it!
On the other hand, my husband loves waking up during the early hours. He likes watching the sunrise. He likes getting things done before his morning coffee – even more than his morning meditation and typical morning routine. He also functions better on less sleep than I do.
Thanks to researchers from Duke University, I now have science to back me up. Ladies, it’s true, we need more sleep than men do!
There are several reasons behind this. For one thing, women tend to do more multitasking than men – and this doesn’t even include all the things women can think about in just one moment.
All this multitasking – and multi-thinking – creates a natural need for more sleep.
Unfortunately, many women don’t get the proper amount of sleep they need. There are several factors that may affect a woman’s quality of sleep:
- Pregnancy: Depending on the baby’s position, the extra weight being carried and the stage of the pregnancy, sleep problems can occur.
- Menopause: Hot flashes say it all; they are uncomfortable and may lead to difficulties in sleeping as well.
- Children: Babies need their mother’s attention, love and milk at all times, but even bigger children can keep one up at night if they are sick, ‘not tired,’ have a nightmare, or if the mother is experiencing any simple worries related to her Kids.
- Problems And Stress: Problems and stress at home, at work, or at school can make your mind go wild like a roller-coaster; they may lead to sadness, anxiety or other emotional issues as well. Lack of sleep is often the consequence.
- Nutrition And Health Issues: Nutritional imbalances may lead to sleep issues, so can too much sugar, too much caffeine or generally too much food late at night. Physical pain may also keep you up at night.
Negative Effects Of Lack Of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep leads to health issues in both men and women. But since women need more sleep, they have a higher Chance of experiencing negative consequences of sleep deprivation.
Some issues that lack of sleep can create:
- Accelerated skin aging
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Psychological problems
- Immune dysfunction (did you know that women are more likely to suffer from autoimmunity?)
- Hormonal imbalance
How To Get More Sleep
Women should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This of course can vary depending on the individual – some need 8 or 9 hours.
If you are dealing with sleep disturbances or lack of sleep, if you start following these techniques, you can finally start having a proper night’s sleep every night:
- Create a bedtime routine. Stick to it. Go to bed at the same time every single night. Wind down before bed. Turn off your technology, dim the lights, relax, meditate or read 30 – 60 minutes before bedtime.
- Exercise. Moving your body can be beneficial for your sleep. Try not to work out at night, it may actually make you more wakeful. But exercise in the morning or during the day can allow you to sleep better. Even a morning walk can do the trick. Go outdoors for some fresh air, if possible. Move at least 20 – 30 minutes every day, but ideally 40 – 60 minutes.
- Limit your caffeine and sugar intake. Cutting out processed sugar is good for your overall health. Limiting or completely cutting out caffeine has health benefits as well. But not having caffeine and sugar at night close to bedtime is especially important. Even a small cup of coffee or a piece of sugary candy can be enough to lead to sleeplessness. Sip herbal teas instead and if you truly need a bedtime snack, have some walnut or almonds, they can actually help you to sleep.
These tips can help you to sleep better. If you are dealing with a serious case of persisting insomnia, talk to your doctor in case there is an underlying health issue beneath the surface.
Do you struggle with getting a good night sleep? What are your biggest challenges? What is your nighttime routine? Share with us in the comments below.
And if you missed it, now is the perfect time to join the Fitlife #WITT30 Challenge to get the guidance and support you crave to create long-lasting habits. Join FREE today!
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a full-time freelance health & wellness writer, content creator, and also a Certified Holistic Health & Life Coach.
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