We all need sleep. But, results of a new study indicate that women may need just a bit more.
“For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger,” said Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University. “These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”
Professor Horne emphasizes the importance of sleep stating, “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.
A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male — though probably still not as much as a woman.”
“This is because women’s brains are wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. The average is 20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this.”
The Female Brain is More Complex, Requiring More Than 8 Hours of Sleep
The recommended amount of sleep per night is 8 hours, but Professor Horne explains that women’s brain “wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater.” Women are more likely than men to be multi-taskers, and often tax their brains with more strenuous activities, hence requiring more sleep to reset.
Professor Horne explained that man who do jobs that involve decision-making need more sleep than an average man, but still less than an average woman.
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