Though guidelines have changed frequently over the years, it is recommended that adults get at least seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night. That number is subject to change for other factors, like pregnancy, aging, and sleep quality (via the Mayo Clinic). And, as it turns out, your gender could also factor into how much sleep your body needs to function properly.
New research by Loughborough University’s Clinical Sleep Research Unit shows that women actually need more sleep than men in order to fully optimize brain function (per ResMed). Generally, women need at least 20 more minutes of sleep than their male counterparts due to a number of different factors. The need for this increased time is mostly due to the fact that women’s brains are wired differently. Unlike their male counterparts, women can multitask more efficiently and expand their minds to handle varying situations that require more brain power (per Sleep.org).
Women's brains require more time to recharge
An additional 20 minutes of sleep does more nourish the mind of women. Since women’s brains generally do more work throughout the day, they require more time to regenerate during slumber (per Sleep Advisor). Plus, those extra 20 minutes also come in handy for the 15 percent of women who experience sleep troubles throughout the night. Compared to only eight percent of men, more than 15 percent of women experience some sort of sleep troubles, like insomnia, throughout the night. After menopause, women are also just as likely to experience sleep apnea (per SleepFoundation.org).
To make matters worse, research has shown that women’s brains have a harder time coping with sleep deprivation. As compared to men, women reportedly suffer from more anger, depression, and hostility when they don’t get enough shut-eye. For both men and women, not receiving the adequate amount of sleep every night can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (via Sleep.org).
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