Do women sleep differently from men?

25 March 2019

Women and men are constituted differently, both biologically and physically. These differences may contribute towards each gender having different sleep needs. Majority of the differences in sleep needs are as a result of biological functionalities in the body that occur in specific gender’s lifespan. These bodily changes include puberty, menopause, pregnancy.

Sleep differences in specific genders emerge through the quality of sleep, duration and sleep latency. Latency refers to the amount of time taken by someone to fall asleep; whereby women take longer to fall asleep when compared to men.

Different internal clocks

Both men and women have a similar circadian rhythms. A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living organisms, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. Generally, this rhythm is generated and subject to external cues such as sunlight and temperature.

To begin with, the circadian rhythm of women is considerably less than 24 hours. Actually, it is 6 minutes short of 24 hours. This may appear like an insignificant, but can greatly influence women’s sleep behavior in terms of irregularity and fluctuation levels.

Moreover, women gravitate to fall asleep and wake up earlier, which raises the important argument that women are more active in the morning than in the evening, which is a key difference in sleep needs between men and women.

Busy schedules

Women have a bigger likelihood to multitask. Multitasking requires engaging the brain more thus exhaustion. This may directly result to missing out on sleep or indirectly by brain cell exhaustion. Women are expected to grow babies, birth them, feed them, parent them, run the household, and often work out of the home or have full-time jobs. The more you use your brain, the more your body needs sleep.

This does not necessarily imply that men do not need sleep. Men’s duties may be complex, therefore, entails critical decision making and lateral thinking. It is also important to note that the quality of sleep needed by a man who does complex jobs is not the same as that of a man who does ordinary jobs.

Finding a remedy

To ensure you benefit from sleep, invest in a quality mattress. Ensure that you practice the act of sleeping with regular and intensive sleep routines. The body, just like any other organs, is a system that needs to be trained to function in a certain way (sleep at a given time in this instance). Women need to consider sleep routines more as compared to men because of the biological shocks that their bodies experience, especially after menopause.

Getting ready to sleep earlier is one of the practices that promote getting enough sleep. Part of getting ready for bed should include switching off your devices and dimming the lights before bed. Your maximum productivity and general well-being can only be achieved if you observe your gender’s specific sleep needs.


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