Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

Sleep is an essential component of our overall well-being. It plays a crucial role in maintaining our physical health, mental acuity, and emotional balance. However, did you know that women generally require more sleep than men? Yes, it’s a scientific fact backed by research and studies. While the exact reasons for this disparity are still being explored, several factors contribute to the increased sleep needs of women.

Biological differences between men and women have been widely studied and documented, and sleep is no exception. Several scientific studies have indicated that women tend to require more sleep than men on average. One such study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in the United States found that women need around 20 minutes more sleep per night compared to men. Another study published in the journal Sleep revealed that women experience more fragmented sleep compared to men, leading to an increased need for total sleep time.

One of the main factors contributing to women’s increased sleep requirements is their hormonal makeup. Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes occur during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, which can significantly impact sleep patterns. For instance, during the premenstrual phase, many women experience symptoms like bloating, mood swings, and discomfort, which can disrupt sleep. Similarly, the hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and menopause can lead to sleep disturbances, making it essential for women to compensate with additional sleep.

Furthermore, women often take on multiple roles and responsibilities in their daily lives. They juggle between work, family, and personal commitments, which can result in increased mental and physical exertion. The stress and cognitive load associated with these roles can contribute to sleep deprivation. Additionally, women are more likely to engage in nighttime caregiving activities for children or elderly family members, further compromising their sleep duration and quality.

The importance of sleep cannot be overstated when it comes to maintaining optimal health. Sleep deprivation can have significant consequences, both physically and mentally. Lack of adequate sleep can weaken the immune system, increase the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and impair cognitive function, memory, and attention span. It can also lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression, which are more prevalent in women.

Recognizing the unique sleep needs of women is crucial for promoting their overall well-being. Society needs to prioritize creating an environment that supports women’s sleep requirements. This can be achieved through various means, such as flexible work schedules that allow for sufficient rest, adequate maternity leave policies, and promoting awareness about the importance of sleep hygiene and self-care practices. Moreover, healthcare providers should address sleep concerns during routine check-ups and provide guidance on managing sleep-related issues specific to women.

In conclusion, scientific research consistently indicates that women need more sleep than men. Biological factors, hormonal changes, and societal roles and responsibilities all contribute to this disparity. Acknowledging and addressing these differences is essential for ensuring that women can maintain optimal health and well-being. By prioritizing sleep and creating a supportive environment, we can empower women to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Remember, a good night’s sleep is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for everyone, especially women.

Women Need More Sleep Than Men, It’s A Scientific Fact

The 3-5pm slump is real, especially for women.

Tired young woman lying down in bed taking a rest at home.

Is it about time the girlies took a Spain-style siesta between the hours of three till five in the afternoon? This is the question TikTok users are asking after sharing how absolutely shattered they feel mid-afternoon.

TikTokker William Seremetis shared in a video, “Here’s something I’ve learned about women since living with my lovely girlfriend. From about 3-5pm every day, for no apparent reason, it’s ‘sleepy poo poo miserable time’.

“And that’s OK. I don’t know why, but from 3-5, it’s just not a good time for the ladies!”

Another user shared a video with screen text that reads, ‘Men don’t know how exhausting it is to be a girl from 3-5pm’. People commented in agreement underneath, saying: “No because this needs to be studied!!” and “Omg, is this universal? I need to be in bed at 3pm!”

It seems like there might be something to our mid-afternoon slump. Experts agree that there are two main reasons behind it.

Post-lunch nap time

Firstly, your blood sugar is heightened following a carb-heavy lunch (we’re talking anything with bread, pasta, sugars like biscuits, pastries, etc.). Nutritionist and naturopath Stephen Eddey explains, “When we eat carbohydrates, the level of blood sugar rises sharply. What goes up, must come down and we get a following slump in blood sugar levels.”

It’s all about your circadian rhythm

Secondly, it’s natural to experience a dip in energy in the afternoon as part of our body’s natural circadian rhythm. Women’s hormones in particular can take a hit around this time, as women’s stress hormone cortisol naturally declines as the body winds down for the day, contributing to lower energy levels.

“Cortisol naturally spikes in the morning and reduces as the day progresses,” Eddey says.

Our circadian rhythm – often referred to as our ‘body clock’ – helps regulate sleep, and waking and eating patterns.

Between three and five, there’s a natural lull in our circadian rhythm that causes our body temperature to drop – which is something that also happens right before we go to sleep, too. This drop in body temperature is what has our heads lolling towards our keyboard for a micro nap.

Women need more sleep than men

It’s also thought that women need more sleep than men, so if you’re not sleeping well at night, your body could be trying to make it up for it during the day. According to sleep researchers at Loughborough University, women need 20 minutes more sleep than men because of how our brains work.

“Women’s brains are wired differently … so their sleep need will be slightly greater,” Professor Jim Horne,

“Women tend to multitask — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do.”

It’s also thought that women’s menstrual cycle can affect their energy and productivity from day to day, week to week, with experts saying that the nine to five work day was created to best suit men’s body clocks, rather than women’s.

So, what’s the solution for the sleepies?

Researchers at the University of Rochester share the below ideas for beating the mid-afternoon slump:

  • Don’t miss breakfast
  • Pick high-energy carbs
  • Snack wisely – choose high-protein snacks to power you through
  • Don’t overdo sugar – it can cause your blood sugar to rise and will cause an energy slump later on
  • Improve your sleep hygiene and try to get seven to nine hours a night
  • Take a break to get out on a walk or do some stretches to get your blood flowing and your mind moving