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

Photo: Gorodenkoff / shutterstock
woman stretching morning waking up

Couples will sometimes fight over who sleeps in more.

In fact, it can cause arguments in relationships, especially when one partner feels they accomplish tasks while their spouse or partner is sleeping.

But science is has put to rest the debate over whether men or women should sleep in.

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.

That's right, it turns out that women need more sleep than men.

And no, it's not because they get tired more easily or even because they do more work in a day than men.

It actually has a lot to do with the way womens' brains are wired in relation to mens'.

RELATED: Why So Many People Wake Up For An Hour In The Middle Of The Night... On Purpose

The 2008 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," said 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."

Other sleep experts agree.

"One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself," added 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, the cortex — the part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language, and so on — disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode," he continued.

RELATED: If You Only Need 5 Hours Of Sleep, It Might Be In Your Genes (According To New Research)

"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."

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.

And next time you expect her to wake up early and cater to all your needs, maybe return the favor.

Cook her breakfast, do a few loads of laundry, tidy the house — anything to make her life a little easier.

After all, she's your partner in all things, and that includes her mental and physical well-being as a result of her sleep needs.

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

And science doesn't lie.

RELATED: The Real Scientific Reason You Can't Fall Asleep On Sunday Nights

Higher Perspective seeks to bring together like-minded individuals focused on personal growth and expanding their consciousness.

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

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!

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