Ever heard the phrase, “women need more sleep than men”?
It is true and there are a lot more reasons than we realize. Science tells us that men and women require a different amount of sleep as their bodies function a lot more differently. A more recent study suggests that women need at least twenty minutes more sleep than men every day, and on an average of at least 8-9 hours sleep. But despite these affirmations, studies also suggest that women are more prone to insomnia and sleepless nights.
Let’s take a look at why sleep is different for men and women.
The Difference in Cardiac Rhythms between Men and Women
Cardiac rhythms control the internal clock of the body telling you when to sleep and when to wake up. Research has shown that the cardiac rhythm between men and women do not match up. This means that the cardiac rhythm of a man runs longer than that of a woman’s, lasting 6 minutes longer. Resultantly, men go through their full 24-hour cardiac circle more effectively without getting tired easily and with little sleep when compared to women.
In women, the cardiac rhythm falls a little short of a complete 24-hour circle which can explain why women tend to wake up easier in the morning. The effect of this also makes women tired faster than men by the end of the day, making them go to bed early at night as well. The early rising can make women susceptible to a form of insomnia that deprives early morning sleep in people.
Women Multi-task More Than Men
Scientists believe that women tend to use their brain a lot more compared to men. This requires them to sleep longer. We have previously listed what happens to our body when we sleep. In addition to consolidating and storing memories, the brain repairs and recovers itself. In the case of women, the brain is wired differently than in men. As a result, women can easily multi-task. Therefore, women use more of the brain during the day which requires a longer duration of sleep to process everything the brain has taken on that day.
Hormonal Changes are Higher in Women
Studies have also shown that women get much lesser sleep than men. One main reason being the extent of hormonal changes women face is much higher than in men. The reproductive cycle is greatly responsible for keeping women awake at night. Be it periods, pregnancy or even menopause, sleep can get in the way, even though the body is extremely tired and exhausted. The hormonal changes and fluctuation of body temperature together are enough to disturb your sleep for days together.
Readjusting the Internal Clock to Get Wholesome Sleep
While the above-mentioned factors point towards the fact that women need more sleep than men but at the same time, they are unable to get the right amount of sleep. Conscious steps taken in the right direction can ensure that women and men can sleep the right amount required for the body without any compromise. Here is a quick guide you can incorporate in your lifestyle to let your body rest the right way.
- Eat the right kind of food that is nutritious. Some foods are natural sleep inducers. Therefore, consuming this food before bedtime can easily put you to sleep.
- Develop a healthy bedtime routine. You can easily train the body to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This automatically adjusts the internal clock ensuring you stick to the routine.
- Work out regularly.