Remember that time you and your man went out to the movies the night before you had to be up for an early morning meeting in the office? Or was it a Netflix and chill night at his place! You stayed the night but had a horrible time sleeping because he kept hogging all the covers ?
Maybe you thought you could spend the whole night studying for an exam by cramming all that information in but you failed miserably because you were so tired!
Well a research study has concluded that women really do need more of this than men! I know what you’re thinking? How could this be when everyone needs this in their life! Before you get all worked up, just know that it has to due with the productivity of the brain and the fact that women use more of their brain because of multitasking daily! Yes, women need more sleep than men and it is now a proven fact!
When women do not get enough sleep, have disrupted sleep patterns , or even feel tired, they will make less of an effort to perform well in the workplace and will do horrible in cognitive tests that require memory usage and accuracy.
Researchers from Cambridge, Hull, the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, and Dukes University in Singapore did a study on 34 male and female volunteers, changing their normal sleep patterns. Each participant went to bed at a different time, which shifted their usual wake up time.
All of the volunteers were quizzed on how tired they felt, after waking up and were also given tests on cognitive functions. Women scored worse compared to men due to the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms that regulate sleep and affect the female hormones.
The report from the study states, “Accuracy deteriorates more in women than in men when a long time awake is combined with an adverse circadian phase. Extrapolation of these laboratory findings to the real world would suggest that women are more affected by night-shift work than men.’
Because a woman’s work is never truly done whether as a career woman, a caregiver to a child or loved one or as both, it’s understandable as to why this may be. If you’re a woman finishing college, working, branching into starting your own business and taking care of a child, it’s extremely hard to find the balance of getting the sleep you need! Just to even sneak a nap in seems
The study confirms,’This difference may in part reflect social factors such as family and childcare responsibilities that lead women to work longer hours and to sleep less on days off than men.’
Director of the Sleep Research Centre, Professor Jim Horne, said: ‘For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger’.
And ladies if you think lack of sleep just affects your mental and cognitive health, think again! Poor sleeping habits in women also increase serious health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, and stress. The answer lies in our hormones!
Because men have higher levels of testosterone, this hormone rises if a man is suffering from lack of sleep. “It decreases insulin and increases muscle mass, testosterone has an anti-inflammatory effect, which kept men’s stress hormones lower,” stated Edward Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine.
The hormone progesterone that women have, does not have that same stress-dampening effect. Sources have stated that estrogen is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. As women get older,the decline in the hormone may contribute to worse sleep by tossing and turning at night.
Some ways to improve the quality of your sleeping habits include:
- Meditation after a long day
- Listening to some soft light music
- Drinking a glass of wine
- Putting your cell phone on do not disturb and using an alarm clock other than your phone to wake you up for work or school
- A long warm/hot bath before going to sleep
- Not watching anything that requires you to think at night before catching some zzzs
Let’s do a better job in taking care of ourselves and get the adequate amount of sleep we need!
How many hours a night do you sleep ?