Let Her Sleep In! Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Photo: Vladislav Muslakov via Unsplash 
Let Her Sleep In! Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Couples will sometimes fight over who sleeps in more. And according to a study conducted by researchers at Duke University, it turns out your girlfriend or wife should be the one sleeping in, not you.

The study examined 210 middle aged men and women, and found that women suffered greater health issues from lack of sleep than men.

"We found that for women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger," says Edward Suarez, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke and the lead author of the study. "In contrast, these feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men."

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Other sleep experts agree.

"One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself," says Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Center at Loughborough University and author of "Sleepfaring: A Journey Through The Science of Sleep."

"During deep sleep," he continues, "the cortex — the part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language, and so on — disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode ... The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need. Women tend to multi-task ... and so, they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater."

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Why do women need more sleep than men?

"This is because women's brains are wired differently from men's and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. The average is 20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this."

So in a variety of ways, yes, women's brains are more complex than the brains of their male counterparts, and women therefore need more time to relax and recover overnight.

In other words: Let her sleep in, gentleman. It's important.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on March 10, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.

This article was originally published at Higher Perspective. Reprinted with permission from the author.