Here is Why Women Have Higher Requirement of Sleep Than Men

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Sleep is essential for preserving mental, physical, and emotional well-being. People continue to work from home in the midst of renewed lockdowns and offices being shut. With increased concern and anxiety induced by the pandemic, coupled with lack of proper physical activity, this has a detrimental effect on not just our mental health but also our sleep quality. However, women, particularly working mothers, are the most affected as according to experts, women require more sleep than males.

A 2014 study published in the National Library of Medicine titled Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep Health: A Society for Women’s Health Research Report found that men and women have different ideal sleep hours. It further stated that “women are 40% more likely than men to suffer from insomnia and restless leg syndrome,” and that men sleep deeper than women.

Dr. Sibasish Dey, ResMed’s head of medical affairs for Asia and Latin America, agrees with the study’s conclusions. In a talk with IndianExpress.com, he explains why women require more sleep than males, the consequences of sleep deprivation, and offers advice on how women can better manage their sleep cycles.

Why do women need more sleep than men?

“Several studies have shown that, due to biological differences, men and women’s sleep requirements may differ slightly. How both women and men spend their days is a big factor. Women and men devote different amounts of time to paid and unpaid labor, work and social duties, and family caregiving, according to research,” Dr Dey said. He went on to say that women get somewhat more sleep than males, about 11-13 minutes more, but men sleep far deeper. Women are more likely than men to get up in the middle of the night to care for family members. Sleep is most effective when it is not interrupted.

“Additionally, women are more likely to take a nap during the day, suggesting that their total sleep time may be misleading. Napping during the day adds to the sleep time (number of hours spent sleeping) and makes night-time sleep less restful,” he added.

Repercussions of sleep deprivation in women

Women, on average, require more sleep than males. The implications of a bad sleep cycle are likewise significantly more severe in women than in men. Sleep-deprived women had a higher risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, stress, and mental health difficulties than sleep-deprived males, according to several research. It can cause confusion, exhaustion, and a lack of enthusiasm, all of which have a negative impact on productivity. Women may also find it more difficult to concentrate than men.

How much more sleep do women need compared to men?

While sleep needs differ from person to person, studies show that women require 20–30 minutes more sleep than males to compensate for sleep loss owing to their lifestyle, fitness and health needs, tasks handled, and hormonal changes at every stage.

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