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World Sleep Day: Why do Women need more quality sleep than men?

18th March is recognized as World Sleep Day across countries. The day was founded by the World Sleep Day Society’s World Sleep Day Committee in 2008. It is observed every year on the Friday before the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice. Since 2008 itself every year the day brings a theme with itself highlighting the importance of sleep and other things for that particular year.

World Sleep Day also enables us to trace back to various data and research that establishes why women need more quality sleep than men. The veracity of the statement hasn’t been dried yet but it sounds kind of true. Although every person, irrespective of man, woman, or child requires a quality sleep of 7-8 hours/day.

Women, on the other hand, are considered to require more and better quality sleep than males. According to Nitin Gupta, the executive director of Springfit, ideal sleep hours differ between men and women, according to a 2014 research published in the National Library of Medicine titled “Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep Health: A Society for Women’s Health Research Report.”

“The study also found that women are 40% more likely than men to suffer from insomnia and restless leg syndrome and that males sleep deeper than women,” he adds. Apart from this, there are various other studies too that support the same cause. Further, at any single point in the world, thousands and lakhs of women are pregnant and have maternal health concerns too.

Such incidents ensure women have a sound sleep more than average men require. Further factors like menopause, UTI’s also affected a women’s mental as well as physical health. Thus lack of sleep can become a plausible reason for their illness and can also lead to complications like insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Such factors more or less advocate the fact that women need more sleep than a man does. While no study reveals the precise quantity of sleep required by women versus men, Gupta believes that everyone needs roughly 7-8 hours of sleep every day for excellent health.

“Women sleep 11-13 minutes longer than males, according to a study published in PMC, a publication of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the US National Library of Medicine. It also claims that sleep disparities between men and women are caused by a variety of behavioral and biological reasons,” he continues.

Women are more prone to nap13 during the day, thus their larger overall sleep duration may be deceiving. Naps increase overall sleep time but reduce the quality of sleep at night. Sleep works best when it is undisturbed. During a complete night’s sleep, you cycle from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep and back again.

With each stage of sleep, you spend more time in REM sleep (dreaming and cognitive processing) and less time in deep sleep (body repair). When that sleep is disrupted, you repeat the cycle, missing out on vital REM sleep. Several studies show that women sleep quicker than males. This may indicate a larger need for sleep or just that they are more fatigued overall.

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