Why (Slightly) More Sleep Is Needed by Women
A good night’s sleep is something that everyone requires and deserves. Is it true, however, that some people require more than others?
Women, it turns out, may require more sleep than males. Here’s a closer look at how much more they may require, why they may require more, and how to get more sleep, regardless of your gender or sex.
You’ll notice that the language used to discuss statistics and other data points is rather binary, with “male” and “female” or “men” and “women” being used frequently.
Although we try to avoid using terminology like this, it’s important to be clear when discussing study participants and clinical outcomes.
Unfortunately, none of the research and surveys included in this article included or reported data on transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless people.
What is the ideal amount of sleep for a woman?
When it comes to how many hours of sleep women require vs males, there is no definitive study. Adults of either gender require 7 or more hours of sleep per day to be healthy.
When it comes to sleep differences, research has shown that women get 11 to 13 minutes more sleep than men.
Trusted Source — give or take a few points depending on variables we’ll discuss later.
What makes you think there’s a difference?
According to research, sleep inequalities between men and women are due to a variety of behavioral and biological factors that alter as people age. Nonetheless, practically every study on the subject emphasizes the need for greater research to better understand the roles of sex and gender in sleep requirements.
Poor sleep are more likely to occur.
According to a 2014 study, women are 40 percent more likely than males to suffer from insomnia, which may prompt them to seek out extra sleep to compensate for hours of tossing and turning.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and sleep apnea are also more common in women, both of which can affect sleep quality and make you need more sleep to feel rested.
Menstrual hormone swings can make it difficult to get a decent night’s sleep, especially during the premenstrual stage. The same is true during pregnancy, when hormone levels fluctuate over the three trimesters, causing:
• urinating on a regular basis (causing lots of nighttime trips to the bathroom)
• Breathing problems
Then there’s perimenopause and menopause, when hormonal changes can induce symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, which can keep you awake at night. After menopause, the risk of having sleep apnea increases as well.
Unpaid labor takes up more time.
According to a study from 2013 trusted Source, women spend less time in the workforce and more time on unpaid labor, such as child care and housework.
Being out of the labor allows women to obtain more sleep because employment is linked to decreased sleep. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to have their sleep interrupted due to caring.
Various perspectives on sleep
According to some specialists, men and women may have distinct perspectives on sleep, which could help to explain why they require different amounts of sleep.
According to this theory, women are less inclined to take risks than males and are more likely to pay attention to their health. For example, if people go to bed earlier or schedule a nap, they are more likely to get enough sleep.
What amount of sleep do you require?
Because of hormones, lifestyle habits, and medical problems, your sleep needs, like your body, fluctuate as you get older.
According to the CDC, these are basic sleep standards for various age groups, independent of sex or gender.
• 14 to 17 hours from birth to 3 months
• 12 to 16 hours for 4 to 11 months
• 11 to 14 hours for children aged 1 to 2 years
• Children aged 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
• Ages 6 to 12: 9 to 12 hours
• Ages 13 to 18: 8 to 10 hours
• Ages 18 to 64: 7 to 9 hours
• Ages 65 and up: 7 to 8 hours
Tips for better Sleeping suggestions
When it comes to your mood, energy levels, and productivity, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference. It can also aid in the maintenance of your body’s health and ability to fight illness.
Regardless of sex or gender, here are some recommendations to help you get some quality shut-eye (aka improving your sleep hygiene):
• Maintain a regular sleep and wake-up schedule. This entails going to bed and rising at the same time each day. Weekends are included as well.
• Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Better sleep is aided by a conducive sleeping environment. With things like blackout shades, linen, and a soft mattress, you can improve your sleep environment by making sure your room is quiet, dark, and pleasant.
• Be careful what you eat and drink before going to bed. Sleep deprivation might occur if you go to bed full or hopped up on coffee. Limit your caffeine intake to earlier in the day and don’t eat for at least 3 hours before bed. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol before going to bed.
• Before going to bed, limit your exposure to blue light. Blue light disrupts your circadian cycle by deceiving your body into believing it is still daylight. It may be more difficult to fall asleep as a result of this. Avoid screen time, including TV, phones, and other devices, for at least 2 hours before bedtime to reduce your exposure to blue light.
• Before going to bed, do something soothing. People who take a hot bath or shower before bed have been demonstrated to fall asleep sooner and sleep more restfully and deeply. Reading, deep breathing, and meditation are some other frequent options.
• Get some physical activity. Regular exercise will help you sleep better, as long as you don’t work out straight before bed. It also reduces tension and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.
• Consult your physician. Poor sleep can be caused by underlying medical issues and certain drugs. If you’re having difficulties falling or staying asleep, or waking up fatigued after a night’s sleep, talk to your healthcare provider.
Last but not least
Women sleep a few minutes longer per night than males, and they may require this extra rest for a variety of reasons. Getting adequate quality sleep, regardless of your gender or sex, is critical for your physical and emotional wellbeing. A few lifestyle changes can help you sleep better. If they don’t, see a doctor to rule out an underlying issue that’s interfering with your sleep.