Science Confirms: Women Really Need More Sleep Than Men!

Science Confirms: Women Really Need More Sleep Than Men!

According to a recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Duke, the fact that women need more sleep than men is not a myth. In fact, women are far more stressed than men and can rarely be as relaxed as men, which has physical and mental consequences on their health. As a matter of fact, the findings of the study suggest new health recommendations for women as a way of preventing problems such as heart disease and depression.

The study examined the needs of thousands of men and women for rest and also evaluated their capacity for dealing with improper rest. The findings were drastically different between the genders – women experienced anxiety and depression far more often and were facing much more adversity in the morning. Dr. Michael Breus, leader of the study and a sleep expert says that the study clearly shows that the myth about women needing their beauty sleep is not a myth at all – it’s a fact.

How Much Sleep Women Really Need?

Although there’s much evidence on biological factors being involved in the disproportion of sleep, some sleep experts consider mental expenditure the main reason why women need more sleep.

While we’re sleeping, the brain recovers and heals itself. The cortex (part of the brain responsible for memory, language and, thought) “disengages” from the brain when we sleep, putting our mind in recovery mode. The more we use our brain during the day, the more rest it needs overnight. “Women are great at multitasking – they are flexible, but they often do a few things at once which drains them mentally and makes them use their brains more than men,” Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Center at Loughborough University (London) says.

Of course, men who use their brain more than the usual need more sleep as well. “Men working complex jobs involving a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking need more sleep than the average men because they use their brain more often. However, they still need less sleep than women,” Horne concludes.

The Science of Sleep

Breus’ study has stirred up the medical community and launched quite a debate among scientists. Many universities have decided to investigate the matter on their own – a recent study from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found a link between improper rest and faster skin aging earlier this year, which shows how harmful sleep deprivation really is. Other studies have associated lack of sleep with heart disease, stroke, blood clots and psychological problems, so maybe it’s time we start sleeping much more.

About 80% of Americans are suffering from sleep disturbances and rarely get the recommended dose of sleep which ranges between 7 and 9 hours. If you want to see the guidelines on how much you should sleep according to age, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s website.

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