New research showed that, yes, women do need more sleep than men. But, why? And, much more important, how much more sleep do women need?
Poor sleep had a more profound effect on women, as compared to men, according to Edward Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and lead researcher of a study that looked at the linked between poor health and poor sleep.
The study showed that, for women, reduced sleep was linked with a significant increase in risk of diabetes, heart disease and more stress, anxiety, depression and anger. But, these associations were nonexistent or weaker for men.
This is due to Testosterone. Levels of the testosterone hormone rise after poor sleep in men, and “because it increases muscle mass and decreases insulin, testosterone has an anti-inflammatory effect, therefore keeping men’s stress hormones lower.
But, unfortunately women’s hormones, most especially progesterone, do not contain that same stress-dampening effect. Estrogen is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect, therefore the decline in the hormone as one get older could contribute both to worse sleep and to feeling even crappier after a night of tossing and turning.
Women Need 20 Minutes More Sleep Than Men
According to research, women tend to require more sleep than men, due to their “complex” brains.
A study, by neuroscientist, Jim Horne, found that women need at least 20 minutes more sleep than men. The researcher mentioned that women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men. This leads to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more that it needs to rest while you are sleeping.
Also, the study stated that poor sleep among women was attributed to a number of side effects. Depression, increased levels of psychological distress, anger and and greater feelings of hostility were all found in women who slept poorly, but not in men.