Do women need more sleep than men?

Hello, sleeping beauties! Lina here. 🙂

Today I’ll share with you something fascinating, quoting Mr. Spock, we women, generally speaking, need more sleep than men because our brains are more complex. So, now we have a scientifically proven little excuse to say to our partners that we wanna sleep more. 😛 Let’s get our Beauty Sleep! Or in this case: our Intelligence Sleep.

The study has been presented at the FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Copenhagen by scientists from the Max Planck Institute in Munich – Germany, who analyzed the sleep patterns of 160 adults, of which 72 were women and 88 were men, to consider how sleep affects intellectual capacity.

They monitored the cohort’s sleep patterns, as well as performing intelligence tests on the participants to assess their reasoning and problem-solving skills. They monitored sleep spindles, which are bursts of brain activity to consider correlation with different forms of sleep, cross-referenced with gender. They found that sleep spindles, which are associated with higher IQ scores, were boosted when women entered dreamless sleep. For men, no such correlation was found during dreamless sleep.

However, analysis of men’s brain activity found the same stimulation occurred when they had afternoon naps, that was evident for women overnight. The scientists said this showed there was a “fundamental difference” between daytime and night-time sleep. They suggested the way hormones behaved differently during the day could cause the changes.

Professor Martin Dresler said: “Our results demonstrate that the association between sleep spindles and intelligence is more complex than we have assumed until now. There are many factors involved in intellectual abilities, and sleep is just one of them. This large study of men and women gives us a more accurate framework for the next phase of research which will involve differences in individuals sleep patterns.”

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In another study, researchers at Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre found women tend to require more sleep because their brains are more complex than men’s. The study was carried out on a sample set of 210 middle-aged men and women.

The study author, Jim Horne said: “Women tend to multi-task — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”

The average we need is 20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this. Professor Horn said the amount of sleep was necessitated by the complexity and intensity of female brain activity during the day, which means we worry about many other things more than men do and we tend to use many parts of our brain at the same time aka multi-tasking, so our brain works harder and that’s why we need more time to “recharge”.

“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself. During deep sleep, the cortex — the part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language and so on – disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode.”

The more of our brain we use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep we need. However, he said men who have complex jobs which involve a lot of “decision-making and lateral thinking” are also likely to need more sleep than the average male.

The study also found that poor sleep among women was linked to a number of side effects. Increased levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger were all found in women who slept poorly, but not men.

So, there you go, sleepyheads! Enjoy the Valentine’s Day and ask your boyfriend/husband to prepare that tasty breakfast while you stay those 20 more minutes in bed! HAHA

Sleep long and prosper!

Many kisses and see you soon! 🙂

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Photos: Giphy

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