Believe it or not, men and women differ greatly when it comes to their sleep schedules and even what happens as they sleep. Not only do sleep disorders vary among genders, but the effects of sleep deprivation and what’s considered ideal sleep aren’t the same, either. Keep reading to find out what the differences are.
Women use their prefrontal cortex more for multitasking than men do. Because their brains are more complex, women often need more sleep than men. Even 20 minutes of extra sleep makes a big difference in the woman’s brain.
Both men and women need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This varies depending on each person’s situation, but typically men don’t need to sleep for as long as women do because their brains are wired differently.
Differences in Sleep Disorders
It’s more likely for women to experience sleep disorders because of the continuous hormonal changes happening in their lifetime. Such sleep disorders include insomnia and RLS (restless leg syndrome), especially during pregnancy.
It’s more likely for men to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which is most likely caused by the differences in the upper airway. Unfortunately, both men and women aren’t very likely to seek help for their sleep disorders.
Differences in Sleep Cycles
In a woman’s sleep cycle, they usually spend more time in deep sleep which is restorative and boosts memory. They spend less time in stage one of the sleep cycle compared to men, which is the lightest sleep.
Men’s sleep schedules are consistent, with a 24-hour sleep cycle being typical. Men have been found to have a more difficult time dealing with inadequate sleep when compared to women. As men age, they don’t go through the same REM cycle that they did when they were younger.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Women usually have a harder time adjusting to an inconsistent sleep schedule compared to men. They also may be at a greater risk for high blood pressure after sleep deprivation, which is especially true after menopause.
While sleep deprivation has a negative effect on both men and women, it has less of an impact on men when it comes to blood pressure or heart issues. Nonetheless, not enough sleep impacts everyone in different ways so it’s important to make sure you’re getting adequate sleep each night.
Sleep is a fascinating topic and plays a major role in the overall health of an individual. Continue doing research and learning more about the importance of quality sleep so you can make sure you’re on track with your sleep schedule. Feel free to contact us with any questions!