There is no person alive that can go the distance without a good night’s sleep. Good sleep is crucial for our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
In adults, it’s common to sleep between seven to nine hours if you want to have a good rest and provide your body with much-needed rest and support.
Did you know that while you are sleeping, your body is actually burning calories?
That’s how perfect a machine a human body is, and the minimum thing that you can do to support its work is to provide enough sleep.
No matter that people know just how important sleep is for them, they still tend to miss those important hours of regular sleep.
Fewer than two-thirds of women actually get less sleep each night, especially after the birth of a baby.
It’s a growing trend for women to miss on their sleep, due to numerous factors. Here is why women today sleep less opposite to others.
Women And Sleep
You have probably experienced a night of poor sleep already, right? If so, you know that a single night of poor sleep is enough to cause daytime sleepiness.
In some cases, it can lead to memory issues and concentration, which eventually reflects in a poor performance at school and work.
If this one-time poor sleep turns into chronic issues you can expect to be more prone to different injuries, illness, accidents, and even death.
So, if you want to have proper sleep and rest well during the night, you should get the recommended amount of sleep.
Be careful: just sleeping isn’t enough, you need to have a good quality sleep.
Different conditions affect sleep, and in women, biological conditions, such as pregnancy, menstrual cycle, and menopause, all affect how well a woman sleeps.
Women experience changes in hormones like estrogen and progesterone, throughout the month and over their lifetime.
These changes are normal and expected, and frequently affect mood and overall well-being both mentally and physically.
Next to these hormones, frequent factors that can disturb sleep include environmental factors and certain lifestyle habits that can help women have a good night’s sleep.
How Much Sleep Does a Woman Need?
The average adult woman sleeps eight hours and 27 minutes per night. Various studies have shown that women tend to sleep around 11 minutes more than men, despite having less time for sleep.
Across the globe, women are still fighting with differences in paid and unpaid work, strong and intense caregiving responsibilities, and family and social roles.
On the other hand, some studies show that even when women get more sleep, they experience lower-quality sleep than men.
One of the most common reasons for this lies in the fact that they are more likely to get up to take care of others, interrupting their sleep.
As you may know already, disrupting your sleep can lead to stress, moodiness, and even morning headaches.
Women are also more likely to nap during the day, which can further disturb their sleep quality at night.
How Does The Menstrual Cycle Affect A Woman’s Sleep?
Up to 7 in 10 women report that their sleep changes just before their period. This usually happens 3 to 6 days before having the period.
Sleeping problems are a common part of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), and in most cases, the strongest sleep issues are just before the period.
Some women may suffer from a wide range of premenstrual syndrome symptoms as well as sleep problems. For others, PMS syndromes are mild and do not disturb their days.
During the PMS, women may feel that it’s harder to get to sleep and even stay asleep. Some may experience restless sleep in the days leading to their period, while some, are sleepier during the day.
We all know what REM is and how important it is for our sleep (REM is primarily responsible for our dreams), but due to hormonal changes during PMS REM sleep is less in this part of the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal changes – sudden drops in progesterone, directly affect the body’s temperature control. In turn, this affects sleep quality.
Check List On the Menstrual Cycle and Sleep
- Majority of women experience sleep issues when on their period
- The menstrual cycle affect sleep 7 out of 10 women
- Sleep troubles are mostly present 3 to 6 days before having a period
- Keeping a three-month diary is a great way to reflect on your body needs and reactions
Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?
Various research show that women tend to sleep a little longer as opposed to men.
In fact, they sleep 11 minutes longer than men. Women are also more prone to developing certain sleep disorders, including insomnia, and in some cases restless leg syndrome.
In both sexes, sleep-wake cycles are ruled by our hormones, which affect when we feel tired, when we feel alert when we need food, and so on.
Women experience hormonal changes each month which affect their circadian rhythms and create a stronger need for sleep.
- During menstruation, women have trouble sleeping due to cramps, bloating, and headaches.
- It’s common during pregnancy for women to develop restless leg syndrome. They are also more likely to experience depression, sleep apnea, and pain, especially into the postpartum period.
- During menopause, around 80% of women experience hot flashes. These flashes are commonly followed by heavy sweating, heavy breathing, tiredness, and even excessive sleepiness during the day.
It turns out that the main reason why women have less sleep and lower sleep quality than men’s, presumably due to differences in how they spend their day.
Women are also more involved in family caregiving, which means that they spend more of their waking hours caring about others in the home, a task which disrupts their sleep.
Still, women are more likely to nap during the day, which suggests that their total sleep time may be wrong. Sleep works best when you sleep uninterrupted throughout the night.
During a full night’s sleep, you get to experience various sleep stages – from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep and back again – that’s how you rest your body and let your body heal and repairs itself for the next challenges.
When that sleep is interrupted, you start the cycle over again – which leads to you missing out on essential REM sleep.
Did you know that women fall asleep faster than men do? This is what numerous studies suggest.
There could be two reasons for this:
- Women have a greater need for sleep
- Women are more tired on average
Some studies show that women spend more time in deep sleep opposite to men.
Do You Need More Zzz?
Regardless of which sex needs more sleep, the reality is that too many women and men do not get enough sleep.
Americans have been neglecting tehir sleep for decades regardless of their sex, background, and age.
According to the CDC, only 64.5 percent of men and 65.2 percent of women actually sleep at least 7 hours per night regularly.
These numbers are even higher among high school students, young women primarily.
You need a proper night of sleep if you want to keep your body running smoothly.
In fact, the best way to know if you are getting enough sleep or not, is to, to be honest about how you feel when you wake up – do you feel fresh in the morning, do you feel like your energy is restored, or do you need extra sleep to wake up?
If you have trouble sleeping try getting regular exercise, setting a bedtime routine, and regular wake times.
You may also try to cut caffeine intake, switch beer for tea, and do small changes that could improve your sleep environment.
Develop a bedtime routine that will act beneficially on your body – have a routine that will calm down your mind and body before sleep. If you continue suffering from insomnia, talk to your doctor about what steps you can take to improve your sleep easily.
The Bottom Line
Sleep issues are something that everyone can experience, regardless of their sex, age, and sleep routine.
So far, researchers claim that women are more prone to sleep issues than men are and that sleep issues are more present among women due to their intensity of different life stages and needs.
The most basic thing and the most crucial step that you can do to sleep better is to start with better sleep hygiene. Avoid naps during the day, or at least don’t make them too frequent or too long.
After that, limit your caffeine, alcohol, and even nicotine intake – you might be surprised to learn just how much smoking can mess your sleep.
Make your bedroom the perfect sleeping environment: make it as cool, dark, and quiet as possible.
Again: if you have any further issues with your sleep, make sure that you talk with your doctor.