The Difference in How Men and Women Sleep

You already know that men and women are different in a lot of ways. One of these ways include sleep habits. As surprising as it may seem, there are many differences between the two sexes when it comes to getting their zzz’s. The amount of sleep that they require and the sleep challenges that they face are very different.

Who Requires More Sleep?

Women require more sleep than men. Women need about 20 more minutes of sleep than men do. This is because they expend more mental energy each day. Women multitask and use more of their brain in comparison to men. Sleep is the time for your brain to regenerate. Since women’s brains have more work to do than men’s, they require more sleep.

Circadian Rhythm

When it comes to the circadian rhythm, which is the mechanism that helps control your sleep and wake times, both the timing and the duration of the clock works differently in women.

Some of the specific differences in sleep habits include:

When The Circadian Rhythm Is Set: In a woman, the circadian clock is set earlier than in a man, which makes women more disposed to both fall asleep and wake up at earlier times.

Circadian Cycle: On average, a woman has a circadian cycle that’s six minutes shorter than men, which means that a woman is inclined to go to bed earlier and earlier. This also means they are inclined to wake up earlier and earlier.

Sleep Deprivation

Women typically tend to perform better than their male counterparts when they’re low on sleep. Women can also rebound more quickly from mild sleep deprivation in comparison to men.


Women tend to be more vulnerable than men when it comes to sleep disorders and the health risks that are associated with lack of sleep. A woman’s biological phases (like menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause) are more likely to cause sleep disruptions at night, as well.

For example, women report suffering from insomnia more than men, and women who report sleepless nights have a greater risk for health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and weight gain.

Who Experience More Sleep Trouble?

Women experience more trouble with sleep habits than men do. Although men are more prone to sleep apnea, which is a very serious sleep disturbing condition, women still experience more interruptions of the sleep cycle. More women then men report having sleep troubles. These troubles are caused mostly because of the biological phases of a woman’s life. This includes menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and the hormonal shifts that accompany them which make women more likely to experience disruptions to their sleep. Women in general are more susceptible than men to sleep disorders such as insomnia.

The Bottom Line

Whether the sleep issues are manifesting themselves in a man or woman, the one thing that remains the same, no matter what, is how important sleep is to proper functioning and health for both men and women. Both men and women need to take sleep quality seriously, even if they are in different ways. Men need to be take women’s complaints about their snoring on board and get checked for (and, if needed, treat) sleep apnea. And women need to build in their longer sleep requirements into their daily schedules and pay extra attention to any sleep troubles they may be experiencing.

Treatment with Dr. Shukla

If you are dealing with sleep troubles that don’t seem to be going away no matter what you do, you don’t have to live with them. Don’t be one of the millions of adults struggling with untreated sleep problems and inefficient sleep habits.

Let the experts with Dr. Mayank Shukla help you get a good night’s sleep. Doctor Shukla and his team have years of experience in pediatric respiratory medicine, allergy treatment, and sleep apnea therapy to finally get you the rest you want and deserve. Contact our offices today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Shukla.

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