If you’re amongst those women who really feel the need to hit the snooze button for that few minutes of extra sleep even though your partner is up and about, you need not fret. This need for extra sleep does not have anything to do with you being lazy. It has now been scientifically proven that women need 20 minutes of extra sleep as compared to men.
According to a study by the sleep research center at Loughborough University, England, women’s brains need more time to recover from their daily activities as compared to men. The more work you do in a day, the more time it takes for the brain to recover.
And since women multi-task all through the day, they need more time to rest and recover. Poor sleep levels among women also lead to anxiety, depression, and anger. Let us go into further details of why women need more sleep than men.
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1. Women multi-task through the day
Women multi-task through the day, and this can be quite draining. Whether it is home chores, office work or taking care of the children, women perform a large number of tasks at one time and use more of their brain to do so. So they do need more time to sleep to recover from these energy draining tasks.
2. Hormonal changes
Hormones can severely affect women’s sleep patterns. Estrogen and progesterone, the two female hormones fluctuate all through a woman’s life, affecting their sleep. In fact, research has shown that sleep differences do not show up between boys and girls till they reach puberty.
Women’s progesterone levels dip during menstruation, making sleep difficult. After menstruation, progesterone levels rise again, making sleep better. Women also increase their risk of developing restless leg syndrome during pregnancy and lactation.
3. Women find it difficult to handle sleep deprivation
Women find it much more challenging to manage sleep deprivation as compared to men. Feelings of anger, depression, and hostility are found in women who do not get enough sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can also increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes in women as compared to men.
4. Sleep deprivation causes weight gain in women
According to a study, women who slept less than six hours or more than nine hours per day were more likely to gain weight as compared to women who slept seven hours per day. Sleep deprivation affects hormones that regulate hunger, and this stimulates the appetite.
5. Lack of rest affects health
Most women have a very hectic daily routine which affects the length and quality of their sleep. Lack of sleep is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems. Women must have enough sleep for the rest and regeneration of their proper brain function.
Tips to help women sleep better
If you find it difficult to rest and relax after a busy day at work, don’t worry. Follow these few easy tips for better sleep.
We sleep the best in pitch dark rooms. So, wear a sleep mask for better, uninterrupted sleep.
2. Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your side helps to control snoring and breathing difficulty. You will get more restful sleep if you sleep on your side.
3.Lower your anxiety levels
Make a to-do list before you start your day and mark your accomplishment at the end of the day. This will help relieve your anxiety and help you sleep better.
4. Pen down your worries
Women often tend to worry about the stresses of the day more than men. According to UCLA researchers, women who spend 15 minutes every night penning down their worries sleep 30 percent faster.
5. Breathing exercises
Take a deep breath through your nose, hold for five seconds and exhale slowly. Do this ten times every night. According to a Cornell University research, this exercise helps lower heart rate, relaxes muscles and eases anxiety.
6. Avoid caffeine
Avoid having stimulants like coffee in the evening or before going to bed. Smoking also has a similar effect.
Hectic life and work stresses can have adverse effects on the health of women. Peaceful sleep is essential for your emotional and physical health. So, take that extra 20 minutes of that peaceful quality sleep and stay fit and healthy.