Do women need more sleep than men? Yes, according to Dr. Jim Horne, Britain’s leading expert in sleep science. In an article published in the Daily Mail, Horne explained that on average women need twenty more minutes of sleep than men. The researcher pointed out that women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep.
While women need more sleep than men, many are not getting the proper amount. There are several factors that may affect women’s quantity and quality of sleep:
- Sleep disturbances during pregnancy due to excess weight and position of the fetus.
- Difficulty sleeping during menopause due to hot flashes.
- Being woken up and moved around on the bed by the partner. (Men tend to be larger than women)
- Worrying about problems and losing sleep as a result.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends combating insomnia by getting regular exercise, setting routine bed and wake times, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, and improving the sleep environment. If insomnia persists, women can talk to their doctors about sleep to determine other steps they can take to improve their sleep.
Check out the Daily Mail article and brows our Web site to learn more about women and sleep.
- The Difference Between a Man and Woman’s Sleep
- The battle of the sexes starts in the bedroom.
- Women actually do need more sleep than men
- Do women use their brains more than men?
- A matter of time…
- How much more sleep do women require?
- Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?
- Why Do Women Require More Sleep?
- What Happens if People Do Not Get Enough Sleep?
- Effects of Sleep Deprivation in Men and Women
- What Can You Do About Getting Enough Sleep?
- How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?
- Gender Tends to Affect Our Sleep Patterns
- Why Women Need More Sleep
- Better Sleep Techniques for Women
- 5 Other Ways That Women Can Try to Get More Sleep
- The Bottom Line
The Difference Between a Man and Woman’s Sleep
The battle of the sexes starts in the bedroom.
You and your partner zonk out the minute that your heads hit the pillow—but that’s where your slumber similarities end. In fact, the way that men and women get their zzz’s, the amount that they require, and the sleep challenges that they face are quite different. And, unfortunately, women have more hurdles to a great night’s sleep than their male counterparts. Take a look at some of the discrepancies.
- Need More Slumber. Women require about 20 more minutes of sleep than men do. That’s because they expend more mental energy each day—in other words, they multitask and use more of their brains. Sleep is the time when the brain regenerates, and since women’s brains have more work to do during slumber, they require more of it.
- Experience More Sleep Troubles. While men are more prone to , women suffer from two to three times more often. About 15 percent of women report having sleep troubles, versus only eight percent of men. (Unfortunately, when women pass menopause, their likelihood of developing sleep apnea is about equal to that of men.)
- Don’t Handle Sleep Deprivation Well. Women have a tougher time with inadequate shut-eye. Compared with men, women are impacted more by sleep deprivation, especially when it comes to their mental state. They report more anger, depression, and hostility than men when they don’t get enough sleep. Insufficient slumber can also increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease for both men and women.
Women actually do need more sleep than men
The INSIDER Summary:
• Science says that woman need 20 more minutes of sleep than men.
• Woman are more likely to multitask, making the brain work harder and needing more time to recover.
• 18 percent of women suffer from poor sleep compared to 8 percent of men.
A study from your wife’s new favorite neuroscientist, Jim Horne, found that women need 20 minutes more sleep than men. If you don’t strongly object already, wait for it, because the reason is that their brains work harder and need more time to recover. Horne is known by some as the former director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, but now known by most as a traitor among men.
When people sleep their brains go into repair mode, and much like the aftermath of a bachelor party, the amount of recovery needed for everyone is different. Women, who Horne says have a tendency to multitask (or “do everything” as they refer to it), “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.” Not only did women disproportionately suffer from poor sleep (18 percent compared to 8 percent of men), the effects of such sleeplessness led to increased anger, hostility and depression in only women, not men. In other words, that’s what her problem is.
Before you get your pajama pants in a bundle, the data is of a relatively small sample — 210 men and women to be exact. It does not necessarily mean that men need less sleep or that all men are the same. Horne notes that men with complex jobs that require lateral thinking and decision making need more sleep as well, and if there’s any job that calls for both it’s being a dad. That said, on the mornings where you’re both hiding under the pillows while Junior tugs on the top sheet asking “cereal?”, the answer is “Don’t worry, honey, I’ve got it,” because science. Damn you science!
New research shows that, yes, perhaps women do need more sleep than men, but why? And, more importantly, how much more sleep do women need? Throughout this post, we’ll dive into this fascinating U.K. study to uncover the answers and share them with you.
Do women use their brains more than men?
Multi-tasking can be mentally and emotionally draining, but could it also be the reason women need more sleep than men? According to researchers at the Loughborough University U.K.-based Sleep Research Center, 1 women do use their brains more than men – so much more so that, yes, they do require more sleep. In an interview with the New York Post, the director of the U.K. Sleep Research Center, Jim Horne, explains:
“Women’s brains are wired differently, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. 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,” Horne says.
A matter of time…
News outlets that reported on this story yielded hundreds of thousands of shares, tweets and likes on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn–so clearly people are interested, and as they should be! Sleeplessness strongly affects what is known as “higher executive function,” which is controlled by the portions of our brains responsible for intellect and decision-making, and this part of your brain also plays a major role in managing emotions and behavior.
“Despite the large number of sleep loss studies that have been undertaken, these aspects of sleepiness are not so well understood, which is the reason why we’ve been investigating this topic over the last 10 years, or so,” Horne explains.
He notes in the study’s introduction a fact many of us know to be a huge hindrance to good sleep: Whether it’s shift-work, too much screen time at night, or simply cramming too much into the day, this, among other factors, all affects our ability to snag the right amount of shut-eye. Modern-day society seems to encourage us to maximize every second of the day which can be a detriment to our natural sleep cycles.
Another curious result of the study showed sleepiness in women presents a bit differently than sleepiness in men, which is what inspired the U.K. researchers to dig a little deeper into this nuance to uncover insights. Horne’s team studied this phenomenon with 210 middle-aged men and women and found that poor sleep is more associated with high levels of distress, hostility, depression and irritability in women. Oddly enough, these symptoms of poor sleep were not as intense in men, according to Horne.
How much more sleep do women require?
The recent study is interesting because it showed “gendered” differences in how women’s complex brain function compares to men. Now, we assume that there’ll be a few moms, girlfriends and wives out there saying to their partners, “See? I told you so!” And now you have some actual data to back up your sleep rallying cry. But, here’s the million-dollar question: How much more sleep do women need? Horne notes it can be as little as 20 minutes or more. So, go ahead ladies, enjoy that extra sleep!
Women do need more sleep at night compared to men, a recent study concludes.
Researchers from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre studied 210 healthy men and women to better understand sleeping patterns and the links between sleep deprivation and chronic diseases. The study found that women need about 20 minutes more sleep a night than men and that inadequate sleep in women (poor sleep and sleep-related problems) was associated with higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Hormones are said to play a role in this gender difference, particularly testosterone and oestrogen. Jean Hailes endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison says women have a lot less testosterone than men and this level decreases from a peak at around the age of 18 years to a low level around age 65 years. Low levels of testosterone have been linked to lower energy levels, fatigue and reduced general wellbeing.
“Oestrogen levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle in reproductive-aged women, and will start to fall from the mid to late 40s, with a drastic reduction around menopause,” says Dr Davison. “Whenever oestrogen levels are low, for example before and during a period, if breastfeeding, or around menopause, symptoms such as poor sleep and lowered energy levels are commonly reported by women. Whether this ties in with the need for extra sleep in women described in this study needs further exploration.”
To improve the quality of your sleep, Dr Davison recommends the following:
- Schedule 30 minutes of ‘wind down time’ before going to bed, such as reading or listening to music
- Avoid using computers and phones late at night
- Dim the lights before getting ready for sleep
- Try to keep a regular bed time
Read more about sleep and fatigue or learn more about hormonal health during menopause.
Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?
It is a common complaint among many men that their wives and girlfriends tend to fall asleep on the couch halfway through watching a movie. A lot of these women will also want to go to sleep a bit earlier than men, and wake up later. Is this a coincidence, or is there a science behind these sleep patterns?
It turns out that this can be explained, and women do actually need more sleep than men. Why is this? We will be looking into this intriguing question in the article below, so keep reading if you are interested in finding out the answer!
Why Do Women Require More Sleep?
The main difference that causes women to need more sleep than men is because women multitask more often. Multitasking will be using more parts of their brains, and so their bodies will correspondingly require more sleep. On average, women will need approximately 20 to 30 minutes more sleep every night than their male counterparts. Women will be thinking about many different things at once, and will be able to perform these actions at the same time. This is something that tends to differentiate them from men, as men are more single-minded on one task at a time. However, the same result will occur if an individual has a very complicated job and is constantly needing to make decisions and use their critical thinking skills.
Another reason that men and women require different amounts of sleep is due to hormones in the body. Hormonal fluctuations are common in women, especially during certain weeks of their monthly cycles. During this time, the amount of progesterone tends to increase. This will result in an increased need for energy. When a woman sleeps more, she is restoring the energy that was used up to create the extra hormones. A lack of sleep can cause grumpiness and hostility, which are typically attributed to a when a woman is experiencing her menstrual cycle. These symptoms are due to the rampant amount of raging hormones, and not getting enough sleep to make up for it.
What Happens if People Do Not Get Enough Sleep?
Both men and women will suffer consequences from a lack of sleep. For one thing, their brains will stop functioning at the optimal level. Not getting enough sleep will result in a loss of blood flow to key areas in the brain. These areas are responsible for complex thought processes. This includes your ability to problem-solve and rationalize things, as well as decreasing the speed of your cognitive ability. Another problem related to your brain function is your memory.
If you are not sleeping enough, you start to lose your ability to retain memories. These are all issues that will affect your day-to-day life, as well as potentially harm your career performance.
A lack of sleep will also cause problems with your social life. Irritation is a much more common symptom that you may experience. Everything will be viewed in a more negative light, which can be related back to the brain not rationalizing properly. This can also lead to depression, which is very serious in some cases. Not being sufficiently rested can have lasting effects on a person’s mood and behavior. Friends and family members might try asking if they can help, but an irritable person will likely not accept anything and will send them away. This can start to drive friends and family members away, if their help is constantly being refused.
There are many other physical consequences that can occur from a lack of sleep. For example, you will be more likely to gain weight unintentionally. Hormones related to weight gain is correspondingly linked to insufficient sleep. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases people’s appetites. It has been found to be high in people who are suffering from sleep deprivation. This means that you will be eating more calories every day if you are not sleeping enough. The excess weight gain will lead back to thoughts of depression, and so the cycle will continue on.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation in Men and Women
Lack of sleep or poor rest in general affects us all. But it affects women differently than men in so many ways.
— Heart Disease
Women who get less than six hours of sleep per night, which is less than the recommended amount as is, are far more likely to develop heart diseases such as coronary heart problems, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and even death. Men who get the same dose of six hours per night are less likely to develop these issues so seriously, if at all.
Our pancreas is the organ that produces and regulates our body’s insulin. More so in women. In men, it focuses more on the production and regulation of pancreatic enzymes that help break down your food. But with females, the insulin management is a big deal. Without it, they’re at high risk to develop diabetes. When they are dealing with lack of sleep, it directly affects the function of major organs such as the pancreas.
Just imagine how slow and unmotivated you are when you didn’t sleep the night before. Now imagine countless nights with lack of rest. It takes a toll on your body but also your state of mind. Women who experience sleep deprivation over long periods of time, such as during the first few months of child birth, or even during pregnancy, are likely to face the effects of depression. If left untreated, it can plummet into a serious issue, like suicide or crippling anxiety.
— Psychiatric Issues
Lack of sleep can mess with your mind in so many ways. You’re not thinking straight; your brain doesn’t have the ability to formulate complicated thoughts or solve problems. Just imagine a machine running on the most minimal amount of fuel. That’s your brain with sleep deprivation. Your entire body cuts down to its most basic functions just to get through the day. Long exposure to this lifestyle can have detrimental effects on your metal health. More so than in men.
— Weight Problems
It’s no secret that most men have an easier time losing and maintaining their weights than women. Females are genetically programmed to hold more body weight than muscle mass and they have to work that much harder to stay in shape. When facing sleep loss, women can downward spiral into a bad routine of poor eating because they’re grabbing high sugar foods to keep up energy levels. They also don’t have the motivation and energy to exercise which has obvious effects on the body.
What Can You Do About Getting Enough Sleep?
Everyone, especially women, should be making sure that they are resting enough. It is not a good idea to overstrain yourself, because that will only come back as a negative repercussion. One thing that you can do is allow yourself to nap during the day. Whether it be a weekend afternoon or just before dinner in the evenings, don’t be embarrassed if you need to rest for a little while. Taking a 20-30 minute nap can refresh your energy levels and get you ready to finish your day. You will also probably be in a better mood after getting that extra bit of sleep that you need.
Another thing that you can do for yourself is get a good mattress. A poor quality mattress might be the cause of your frequent disruptions in the night. If you are tossing and turning, chances are that you are not comfortable enough. An old mattress might also be hiding a host of allergens that are keeping you awake at night. Pet hair and dust are common examples of such. Buying a nice, new mattress may be the exact solution that you have been looking for!
It definitely is not your imagination that women tend to need more sleep than men. Women have a different body make-up, including lots of different hormones that cause them to need more sleep. If that sleep is not attained, there is a wide variety of side effects that you really do not want to experience. There are a number of solutions that you could pursue in order to achieve the good quality sleep that you need. Try to isolate the cause of why you are not getting enough sleep, and then focus on how to best tackle the issue. And guys, if you see your wife or girlfriend sneaking a nap in, leave her alone and let her sleep!
Ever noticed how after a late night out with your man, you have a harder time the next day than he does? It’s not all in your head. Thanks to different hormonal makeups, we suffer more emotionally and physically when we’re short on zzzs.
“Poor sleep certainly had a more profound effect on women than on men,” says Edward Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and lead researcher of a study that looked at the relationship between poor sleep and poor health. He found that for women, reduced sleep was associated with a significant increase in risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as more stress, depression, anxiety, and anger. However, these associations were weaker or nonexistent for men.
What gives? Testosterone. Levels of this hormone rise after poor sleep in men, and “because it decreases insulin and increases muscle mass, testosterone has an anti-inflammatory effect, which kept men’s stress hormones lower,” he explains.
Unfortunately for us, women’s hormones, especially progesterone, do not have that same stress-dampening effect. Estrogen is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect, so the decline in the hormone as we get older could contribute both to worse sleep and to feeling even crappier after a night spent tossing and turning.
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And while you may have seen recent headlines proclaiming that women need more sleep than men, the truth is a lot more complicated, says Aric Prather, Ph.D., an assistant psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco and author of a larger 2013 study that confirmed Suarez’s findings. “I don’t think there is any good evidence yet that women need more sleep than men,” Prather says. “The present data is more in support of the fact that women may be more susceptible to the negative effects of poor sleep quality.”
In both studies, physiological stress was measured by looking at blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which rises in response to inflammation and is considered a better marker of stress than looking at cortisol levels alone. The volunteers were also asked to rate their sleep quality.
In addition to overall snooze time, Suarez’s study looked at four different aspects of “disturbed” sleep: how long it took subjects to fall asleep, how many times they woke in the night, how long it took them to fall asleep again, and if they awoke too early in the morning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t just the total number of hours in the sack that made the difference. According to Suarez, the No. 1 factor correlated with an increase in CRP for women was taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep when they first hit the sheets. This is a double-whammy for women, he says, who not only are we 20 percent more likely to suffer from insomnia than men but also suffer more ill effects from it.
Large epidemiological studies have found that women tend to rate their quality of sleep as worse than men even when their sleep is shown through objective measures to be better. “This raises the question of whether women may be more sensitive to sleep problems, which may have biological consequences, including elevations in inflammation,” Suarez says.
Kelly Glazer Baron, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Sleep Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, adds that bad sleep can become a vicious cycle: Shoddy shut-eye boosts stress, which in turn causes insomnia for many people, leading to even more stress on top of what you experience every day.
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But there are things women can do to mitigate these effects. “We can improve how we prevent disease over lifetime simply by making small improvements in our sleep,” Suarez says. This is why it’s important to promptly treat sleep problems, especially insomnia. Baron says that if your insomnia reaches the point where it is making it hard to function during the day, talk to your doctor about lifestyle modifications and other options.
She also recommends establishing a regular fitness routine. “It’s been known for a long time that exercisers sleep better,” she says, citing her recent studies showing that 16 weeks of aerobic exercise at moderate intensity four days a week helped women get at least seven hours of sleep a night and also improved their perception of the quality of their rest.
Finally, don’t forget the recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation, Prather says (which you likely can recite in your sleep-or as you stare at the ceiling): Go to bed at the same time every day of the week, avoid heavy meals before bed, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, don’t nap, and exercise daily.
- By Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Did you know that your gender may affect how much sleep you need to maximize your productivity? That’s right, and according to recent data, women usually require more sleep than men.
Sleep science expert Dr. Jim Horne points out the average woman needs about 20 minutes of more sleep than men – perhaps for good reason. Horne notes women commonly multi-task more frequently and use more of their actual brain than men, and as such, need extra rest to optimize their efficiency.
Furthermore, Edward Suarez, an associate professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, tells Shape Magazine that poor sleep frequently has a bigger impact on women than men. He stated that a recent sleep study showed reduced sleep in women was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, along with additional stress, depression, anger and anxiety.
Other factors may impact a woman’s sleep as well, including:
- – Sleep problems during pregnancy due to excess weight and the position of the fetus.
- – Hot flashes related to menopause.
- – Going to bed worrying, and as a result, missing out on sleep.
Nothing beats a great night’s sleep, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. However, getting sufficient sleep often remains difficult for men and women alike.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states roughly 40 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders annually. In addition, about 20 million Americans experience occasional sleep problems.
So what can men and women do to minimize sleep problems? The National Sleep Foundation offers the following recommendations:
- – Exercise Every Day. Regular exercise will help you remain active and healthy, and ultimately, may make it easier to go to bed feeling tired and sleep throughout the night.
- – Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake. Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption throughout the day or in the hours prior to bedtime can make it tough for you to fall asleep. Conversely, those who limit alcohol and caffeine intake may be better equipped to get the Zzz’s they need night after night.
- – Modify Your Sleep Environment. Loud noises, bright lights or other distractions may keep you up at night. But those who spend some time creating a calm, relaxing sleep environment could reap the benefits of a great night’s rest consistently.
Let’s not forget about how your mattress can affect your sleep patterns, either. If you try to sleep on an old, uncomfortable mattress, you’re unlikely to get the rest you need to maximize your productivity and efficiency.
Fortunately, Sit ‘n Sleep can help you find your perfect mattress. To learn more about our mattress options, please explore our website or visit one of our Southern California mattress superstores.
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?
Gender Tends to Affect Our Sleep Patterns
Although most men and women need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, their sleep patterns are generally different. Women often sleep more than men, and they experience a lighter sleep that is more easily disrupted. Many women also have undiagnosed sleep disorders.
Problems that can disrupt women’s sleep include depression, major life events (such as divorce), pregnancy, hormonal changes related to menopause, sleep disorders — including obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome — and medical problems like arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia.
Both women and men often lose sleep over job-related stress, according to research. (2)
Additional stressors that cause men to lose sleep include life issues regarding marriage or divorce, children, employment, and money. Other causes include sleep disorders, substance abuse, depression, and medical problems like epilepsy and heart disease. Men are also more inclined than women to take sleep for granted and stay up longer than they should.
Snoring is another factor that may prevent you from getting the z’s you need. Nearly 90 million of us snore to some degree at night, according to the NSF, and the reasons behind it may also be related to gender. (3) Men often have air passages that are narrower than women’s, which results in more night noise as the breath is forced through a smaller opening.
Men also tend to drink more alcohol and may imbibe to excess more often than their female counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (4) Because alcohol can relax the muscles in the airway and throat, more snoring — and less sleep for bedmates — are frequent results.
Both women and men can improve their nighttime rest quality by adopting a few sleep best practices. These include adhering to the same wake and sleep schedule every day, powering down electronics at least an hour before bed, keeping the room you snooze in on the cool side (between 60 and 67 degrees is ideal, according to the NSF, (5) and sticking to a relaxing routine before bed, such as a warm bath, having a light snack, and reading quietly before tucking in.
If you believe you need professional advice about your lack of sleep, it’s a good idea to maintain a sleep diary for about a week. This will help your doctor get an accurate picture of your sleep history. Your doctor might recommend a device to keep your air passageways open, or a weight loss plan, based on your individual symptoms and needs.
Both biological and cultural factors can affect the quality of the sleep women are able to get, so improving sleep requires a variety of lifestyle solutions.
Sleep needs change as you change. Everyone remembers being a teenager who had to be dragged out of bed at noon. But perhaps now you’ve had the experience of being regularly awakened by a toddler who rises with the sun. Basically, different groups of people need different amounts of sleep. Young children need anywhere from 9 to 13 hours of sleep to be healthy and grow. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. And a small study led by British scientist Jim Horne at the Sleep Research Center at Loughborough University in England found that women may need 20 to 30 minutes more sleep than men to be healthy.
Why Women Need More Sleep
According to Horne, the major reason women require more sleep than men is that women are more likely to be multitaskers than men. Multitasking requires you to use more of your brain.
“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,” explained Horne. “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.”
Multitasking, whether in a woman’s role as the main caretaker of her children or in a professional capacity, is mentally exhausting, and when you throw technology into the mix, women rarely get to wind down properly in order to fall asleep and get enough hours of sleep. They are usually the last ones in their household to go to bed at night and the first ones to get up, often reaching for their phones first thing in the morning to start planning their day. This adds up to fewer hours of sleep overall, leaving women running on a sleep deficit.
Motherhood itself, not surprisingly, also plays a part in women not getting as much sleep as they need. Not only does the daily multi-tasking aspect of motherhood require more time and brainpower, but even when a woman is sleeping, she may not sleep as deeply. “Mother’s minds are sensitive to the sound of their child crying from babyhood onwards, so that is often why they wake when a youngster stirs—yet a man sleeps through it,” said Horne.
Even if a woman isn’t a mother, there are other biological differences that affect the amount of quality sleep women get. During the last week or so of her monthly cycle, a woman has a surge in the hormone progesterone. Increased progesterone production requires additional energy from the body, and that increased energy output means more sleep is needed to replenish energy levels. According to Psychology Today, hormonal changes during PMS may also interfere with melatonin production. This could be why some women tend to experience insomnia right before their period, even if they tend to sleep normally during the rest of the month.
And something as seemingly harmless as being smaller in size than your bed partner can also have an effect on women’s sleep: “When people share a bed, the lighter one tends to get moved around and woken up by the heavier one—normally the man,” Horne notes.
Better Sleep Techniques for Women
So what’s a woman to do? One of the best ways for women to get better sleep is to practice better sleep hygiene, including sticking to a sleep schedule, eating right and exercising during the day, and making sure the bedroom is not only comfortable but also set to a sleep-optimal temperature of 15-20 °C.
While it can be very difficult for women who have the responsibilities of family and career to maintain a sleep schedule, it’s important to carve out time each night to slow down and start shedding the stress and worry of the day before trying to sleep. Some of the most effective approaches for unwinding include activities like these.
Writing is one of the best tactics for reducing stress and getting into a relaxed state of mind before sleeping. A worry journal where you can unload all the major stresses and concerns from the day tamps down lingering anxiety, may help promote deeper sleep at night. Bullet journals can help with organization and defining tasks for the next day, actions that further reduce stress and help the brain slow down. Art journals, which combine making art and writing, enlist creativity to express feelings and identify stressors.
Adult coloring books have become very popular as a method of dealing with stress. Even just 15 or 30 minutes of coloring at night before bed can start the brain’s process of shedding mental clutter so that sleep may be deeper and more restful and restorative. Adult coloring books are inexpensive and don’t require any fancy art supplies. A book to color in and some markers or colored pencils are all you need. It’s an affordable and simple form of relaxation.
Meditation is a fantastic way to process emotions, let go of daily stresses, and focus on getting the best possible sleep at night. Guided meditation apps for smartphones are easy for anyone to follow, including those new to meditation. Meditative breathing is an excellent tool for getting into a relaxed state and preparing the body and mind for sleep. You might want to try the popular meditation apps Calm or Headspace.
Gentle yoga is a good alternative if you’re the type of person who can’t sit still at the end of the day. A relaxing yoga stretching program that is designed to be done before sleep will help relax the body and the mind so sleep comes faster.
5 Other Ways That Women Can Try to Get More Sleep
1. Get Creative With the Sleeping Arrangements
It can be difficult to find creative solutions to resolve the disruption of having a partner in bed who snores, thrashes around, or just generally keeps the other person awake or wakes them up when they are sleeping. Getting a bigger bed so that each of you has plenty of room to spread out is one option, as is having two separate beds in the master bedroom.
Separate bedrooms for each partner is something to consider as well. There is a stigma about married couples sleeping in separate bedrooms, but when one of you cannot get the healing and rejuvenating sleep that you need because of the other person, sometimes it takes resourcefulness to solve the problem. In the last few years, separate bedrooms for couples have cropped up, and some parents and seniors confess that one of them often ends up sleeping in another room in order to get the sleep they need. This is nothing to be ashamed of! If it works to help you both get a good night’s sleep, that’s better for your relationship than trying to sleep in one bed just because that has traditionally been the norm. Separate bedrooms give each of you a space to set up in the manner that is most beneficial for your sleep preferences.
Women with babies or young children who still wake up at night should try trading off the nighttime responsibilities with their partners. Even though it’s traditionally been expected that the mother will get up in the middle of the night to tend to children, there’s no reason a couple can’t switch off or try other ways to relieve the burden from falling 100% on the woman’s shoulders. This way, at least a few nights of the week, she can catch up on sleep while her partner takes care of, and bonds with, baby.
3. Try Essential Oils
Sleep aids like essential oils or herbal supplements can also promote better sleep. An essential oil diffuser can fill the bedroom with the soothing scent of lavender to encourage relaxation and peace. Other essential oils that can contribute to healthy sleep are chamomile, rose, clary sage, and neroli. Essential oils can be mixed with rubbing alcohol and sprayed on bed linens, pillows, and pajamas to support deeper sleep.
Bath and body products that contain essential oils are luxurious and relaxing too. Just make sure that any products you use on your skin are real essential oils, not fragrance oils. Real essential oils mixed with products are safe for the skin, but fragrance oils can cause rashes or allergic reactions in people that are sensitive to chemicals or perfume.
4. Start A Nightly Tea-Drinking Ritual
Relaxing herbal teas can help you relax at night. Chamomile, hops and valerian root have been used for centuries to address sleep problems gently. And it is believed passionflower soothes nervous tension by increasing the body’s own natural GABA levels, one of the brain’s tools for instilling a sense of calm, so you might also try a passionflower tea if the other flavors don’t suit you.
5. Try an Herbal Supplement
Often people turn to prescription sleep aids or sleeping pills to get sleep, but there are herbal supplements that can promote healthy natural sleep without many of the side effects that prescription medications can have. Melatonin, a natural hormone that tells the body when it’s time to sleep, is a very popular supplement that you’ve probably heard of. However, women of child-bearing age should be careful about taking melatonin. Since it is a hormone, taking more of what your body already produces could put hormonal balances out of whack, interfering with your ability to get pregnant. Instead, consider formulations without melatonin, such as RECHARGE HEALTH™ blissful sleep, which contains magnesium, valerian root extract, lemon balm extract, and other natural ingredients that help promote restful sleep. (Speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.)
The Bottom Line
Whether or not women need more sleep than men differs by individual. However, if you’re a woman who’s feeling tired all the time, pay attention to what your body is telling you, and use the tips mentioned above to be sure you’re getting the rest you need to feel you’re at your best.
Still can’t get the desired night’s rest trying out all these tips? For people that suffer from stress and anxiety it’s harder to shut off your brain, making it difficult to fall asleep. The Somnox Sleep Robot helps you to fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up more refreshed.