5 Surprising Reasons Women Need More Sleep than Men

We are all well aware of the physiological differences between men and women, but did you know that these differences have a big impact on our sleeping patterns?

Current research shows that women struggle with insomnia more than men, mainly due to hormonal changes.

What’s even more surprising is that women need more sleep than men in the first place. A study from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Center found that women need 20 minutes more sleep every night than men.

Why Women Need More Sleep than Men

While the head researcher only gave one possible explanation for this, there are other possible reasons why women need more sleep than men do.

1. Women’s Brains Are Wired Differently

Jim Horne, the director of the Sleep Research Center, explained that women tend to multitask and use more of their brains than men. This results in women needing more sleep, since the more you use your brain during the day, the more sleep you need at night.

2. Women Lose Sleep during Their Periods

According to WebMD, 33 percent of women say that menstrual cycles disrupt their sleeping patterns.

Unfortunately, most women never make up for the sleep lost during that time. They wake up at their normal waking hours and rarely take naps during the day. This leads to poor performance and low energy levels.

Try taking naps during your period and use these tips to boost your melatonin levels to help you get to sleep. You may also want to go to bed earlier than usual.

3. Sleep Deprivation Has Worse Effects on Women’s Memory

Lack of sleep worsens memory in both men and women. However, the effect may be worse in women, according to research.

The good news is you can improve your memory without changing your nighttime sleeping schedule. Research shows that taking naps improves memory and alertness. There are so many great reasons to make time for a nap!

4. Men Are More Likely to Disrupt Women’s Sleep

If you’re sharing your bed with a man, you are likely to get worse sleep. That’s because men move more in bed than women do. In one study, researchers found that men are more likely to disrupt their partner’s sleep than women are.

Therefore, women who sleep with men may need to sleep for a few extra hours to make up for the sleep disruptions.

5. Women Have Busier Schedules

Unfortunately, in many straight couples, women still bear the brunt of the housework and child-rearing. Working this unpaid second shift takes a lot of extra energy. They end up being very exhausted at the end of the day, which leaves them needing more sleep.

How Can Women Get More Sleep?

  • Take naps throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol in the afternoon.
  • Keep the bedroom dark and cold.
  • Avoid using the phone or laptop 30 minutes before bed.
  • Sleep in a separate bed, if your partner disrupts your sleep.
  • Go to bed earlier.

5 Surprising Reasons Women Need More Sleep than Men

Images via Thinkstock


Amanda M
Amanda M3 months ago

Kay B, amen, especially for stay-at-home moms! WHY is it that when our jobs are outsourced (child care, housekeeping, yard work, etc.) they are worth a paycheck, but when WE do them and MORE, we're not worth a plugged nickel? Even in a family where both parents work, 9 times out of 10 you have no problem taking a guess about who's doing the housework at the end of the day and who's fat-assing in front of the TV!

heather g
heather g5 months ago

I agree with the points in this article. To add, just because men receive far bigger salaries than women, doesn't mean they work half as hard as women.

Lesa D
Past Member 5 months ago

thank you Brian...

Debbi W
Debbi W5 months ago

This information would have come in handy a few decades ago. It's good to know why there were times I was tired for seemingly no reason. #4 certainly wasn't my problem. I've always been a deep sleeper and hard to wake, although there was one exception, the children. I always woke at their sounds.

Greta L
Greta L5 months ago

thank you

Teresa A
Teresa Antela5 months ago

No surprise… We, women (and please men apologize me) work and think harder than them. Even sleeping we do not disconnect! Of course there are exceptions but exceptions only!

Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Danuta W
Danuta Watola5 months ago

thank you for sharing

Justin M
Justin M5 months ago