Ladies, you can now hit the snooze button on your phone in the morning without feeling guilty anymore. According to Dr Jim Horne, Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University and one of Britain’s leading figures in sleep neuroscience, women need roughly 20 more minutes of sleep as compared to men.
Dr Horne explained that because women have a tendency to multi-task, they use more of their brain than men and because of this, a woman’s need for sleep is greater. Women’s brains are also wired differently from men’s and are more complex. One of the core functions of sleep is to allow the brain to rest and recover itself, and this may lead to negative consequences if the brain is denied this.
While a woman’s greater need for sleep is recognised, research has shown that women aren’t getting enough of it. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is partly due to the fact that women’s sleep tends to be lighter and therefore more susceptible to being woken up than men’s. During pregnancy, women also don’t get enough sleep due to the weight of the child they’re carrying. Older women in particular, can suffer from a lack of sleep during the menopause because of hot flushes.
Some simple methods to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep include getting regular exercise and setting a strict routine for your bed and wake times. Cutting back on your alcohol and caffeine intake also goes a long way in keeping you well-rested. A more creative way to get more sleep at night is by making your bedroom more conducive for sleeping. Two easy examples of this is to have a warm lamp in your room, or to simply cover your bed with pillows. However, if the problem persists, women should talk to their doctors to take further and more medical steps to improve their sleeping patterns.