We all know that adults need from 7 to 9 hours per night to sleep. However, there is a fact that women sleep longer than men for about 11 minutes per night!
Do women need more sleep than men?
There are many reasons causing women to sleep more than men. Sleep experts have proven that women are more likely to suffer from insomnia than men for even 40%. Besides, women also have a higher risk of getting anxiety and depression, which are two of the most popular factors leading to insomnia.
Another factor affecting our sleep-wake cycles is hormones. Women experience various changes of hormone level each month and during their lifetime, so they might need more sleep than men.
There are several examples of women’s hormonal changes, including menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. For instance, during menstruation, women tend to have difficulties sleeping due to bloating, headaches, or even cramps. Meanwhile, during pregnancy, women are more likely to have pain, sleep apnea, depression, etc. Their hormone levels also drop at the time when they begin to take care of their newborn. All of these factors result in an irregular sleep cycle and serious daytime sleepiness.
So women actually sleep more than men?
Even though women really sleep more than men for about 11 minutes per night, the thing is that women’s sleep quality is lower than men’s due to many reasons. Women’s sleep is more likely to be interrupted by different factors, including the fact that they often wake up to take care of the children. Additionally, due to various pains and inconveniences happening during menstruation, pregnancy, or even menopause, women tend to experience sleep interruption more frequently. They might also find it harder to fall asleep.
Sleep works best when it is not interrupted throughout the night. During our sleep, we experience various stages of sleep, from light sleep, deep sleep to REM and repeat. REM sleep is the time for cognitive processing and for your body to physically repair itself. Therefore, if your sleep is interrupted, you will have to start your cycle over again and might miss out on the REM stage. This leads to lower quality sleep even when women sleep longer than men.
Overall, women tend to sleep a bit longer than men do and they also need more sleep than men. However, sleep experts have pointed out that women’s sleep quality is lower and they seem to suffer from sleep disorders more frequently!
Source: The Sleep Foundation