Why women need more sleep than men


Sleep. We all need it.  No matter how compatible you may be with your partner on all matters, when it comes to bed time men and women are biologically designed to need different amounts of sleep. Studies by Duke University in Duhram North Carolina have concluded that women need approximately 20 minutes more sleep than men.  Here’s why: 


Women use more brain power 

This has been attributed to women expending more energy on mentally stimulating tasks, and multitasking, than men. Sleep is the time when the brain regenerates. When you increase brain function throughout the day, you need a bit more time to recharge at night. 


Women experience more sleep disruptors 

Women are more prone to sleep problems, like insomnia and excessive sleepiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation approximately 15% of women report some kind of sleep issue versus only 8% of men. Another poll they did revealed that a higher rate of women compared to men (63% women, 54% men) experience insomnia at least a few times a week.  


Women have more hormonal changes 

Hormones play a huge part in women-specific sleep disruptors. Some women experience problems sleeping during certain phases of their menstrual cycle due to pain or changes in body temperature. 


Our resident sleep expert Dr Carmel Harrington puts it simply As we get closer to the end of our cycle, a lot of us suffer from PMT (premenstrual tension), feeling irritable, grumpy or emotional,” she says. “And those are also the hallmarks of sleep deprivation.” 


Pregnancy is another huge sleep disruptor. Weight gain, nausea and reflux make sleeping peacefully a fond memory, especially towards the end of the pregnancy. 


The onset of Menopause brings with it a slew of disruptive changes. During menopause a woman’s ovaries will slow down the production of the sleep-friendly hormone progesterone. Dropping estrogen levels can lead to hot flashes and night sweats resulting in sleepless nights. 


Although it seems that the odds are stacked against women being well rested, being mindful of your sleep deficiency and actively working to improve it can turn things around. A few ways to help your body get the sleep you need: 



If you need more tips on how to sleep well, read more here. 






Get involved in the discussion

You might also like...

Sleep Quality versus Sleep Quantity
Which one are you getting?

In an ideal world everyone would get an abundant amount of totally res...

Get the kids back to sleep
for back to school!

Parents; Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief. School is back in sess...

Travel Tiring You Out?

Do you find you return from your holiday or a trip more exhausted than...

Learn the 4 Essentials to Good Health

Your health is your wealth. Getting in the habit of maintaining good h...

Is Shiftwork Making You More Tired?

Do you finish work and feel so tired that all you want to do is sleep,...

Better sleep starts with better habits

Learn more

Find a retailer