Sleep, Women, and Stress
Men and women have many indisputable differences ranging from anatomy to emotions. However, studies have also indicated that women sleep differently than men, and are more likely to experience disruptions or disorders to their sleep, or suffer from insomnia and stress-related sleep loss.
How Sleep Differs in Men and Women: The Math on the Matter
According to statistics published on sleepfoundation.org, 20 percent of women reported that they suffer from excessive sleepiness and fatigue, with the most sleep trouble occurring in younger women. It was also found that women are more likely than men to have insomnia at least a couple times a week, with 63 percent of women, and 54 percent of men surveyed reporting troubles with falling or staying asleep.
A prior poll on sleep patterns also revealed that women sleep six to seven hours on average, when the amount of sleep required for a healthy adult is seven to nine hours per night.
Why are Women Sleepier than Men?
While there are no definitive conclusions yet based on the research done so far on women and sleep, what has become evident is women tend to get less sleep than men. The reasons which have surfaced most frequently in seeking to explain why women are sleepier than men are: hormonal differences, stress, and variance in physiology and symptoms.
According research shared by the Huffington Post, hormonal changes, which don’t impact men, can often be the culprit in lost sleep for women. Women have a more difficult time getting enough sleep at certain points in their menstrual cycles each month. Pregnant women also frequently lose sleep or suffer from insomnia as hormone levels surge during their pregnancy. Menopause can also bring about hot flashes and restlessness at night that prevent women from getting adequate or restful sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation has also found that women are more likely than men to lose sleep due to the stresses of everyday life and family obligations. This is because women are often up at night more frequently to feed young infants, or soothe and comfort small children having trouble sleeping. Women may also stay up later at night in order to finish work demands after they are finished caring for their children and families for the day. This can make it more difficult for women to find balance in their lives, and can instigate sleep issues through stress.
Physiology and Symptoms
Another reason that women might remain sleepier than men is that their symptoms present differently and might not be immediately linked to a sleep disorder. For example, according to the Huffington Post, men who were diagnosed with sleep apnea communicated symptoms such as snoring, snorting, or waking up gasping for air. Women with sleep apnea, however, said they experienced symptoms of fatigue, depression, or feeling unrefreshed after sleeping.
Who Handles Sleep Loss Better-Women or Men?
Women! Even though women tend to have more sleep issues than men, according to a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, they also handle sleep loss better and experience less deterioration in their productivity and life than men losing the same amount of sleep.