Women Need More Sleep Than Men Because Their Brains Work Harder, According To Science

It has been scientifically shown that women and men have different brains and that the structure of a woman`s brain is more complex.   Therefore, the fact that women need more sleep doesn’t come as surprise.  As reported by Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University,

“For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger,” and “These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”

Professor Jim Horne is the author of “A Journey Through The Science of Sleep,” book which focuses on the importance of sleeping.  As explained in the book:

“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself. 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.”

“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 — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.

A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male — though probably still not as much as a woman.”

“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.”

Women Need Sleep Than Men Because Their Brains Work Harder, According To Science


Although we are constantly being told that getting an 8-hour sleep a night is usually enough for both men and women, Professor Horne refutes these claims, suggesting that women need more sleep because their brain is more complex.

Women are used to multi-tasking and thus expose their brain to more demanding activities. Therefore, it`s natural for their brain to seek more time to recover, and sleeping is the best way to restore, recover, and heal.

Interestingly, men with highly responsible jobs which require decision-making need more sleep than an average male, which is still less when compared to an average woman.


1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

It is recommended to set a sleep routine and stick to it, so that the brain learns when it needs to slow down and relax.  Start going to bed and getting up at the same time and be consistent.  As unbelievable as it seems, sticking to a sleep schedule significantly improve sleep quality.

2. Pay Attention to What You Eat and Drink ( Avoid Stimulating Foods)

Certain foods and drinks, like coffee, sugar, and chocolate, have stimulating effects which affect your sleep and often lead to insomnia.  Therefore, make sure you avoid these foods before bedtime in order to prevent them from disrupting your sleep.

3. Get Comfortable

You need to create an environment for sleeping, which means that you need quiet, dark, and cool room. Turn off any devices like TV and lights and use high quality pillow and mattress.

4. Yoga

Practicing yoga is highly recommended for people with sleep disorders as certain yoga poses prepare the body for a good night`s rest.

5. Reduce Stress/ Try Meditation

Women often have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep during the night as their brain works at all times and they are more prone to stress.  Insomniacs and anyone with sleep disorder is recommended to practice meditation, which helps the brain settle down and relax.

6. Include Physical Activity in your Daily Routine

Exercising on a regular basis helps fall asleep quicker and enjoy more quality sleep.  However,  pay attention to the timing as exercising before bedtime may have the opposite effect.

7. Melatonin

It has been scientifically shown that melatonin promotes better sleep. Consider taking 1-3 mg of melatonin, an hour before bedtime.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/women-need-more-sleep-because-of-their-complex-brains-research-suggests-a6925266.html


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