Why Women Need more Sleep Than Men?

Men, take notes. Breakfast in bed for her should not be a romantic, special occasion thing. Women’s newest best friend and sleep expert, Jim Horne, has science-backed claims that you should do it much more often—if you aren’t already.

This is why women need more sleep than men

According to the British neuroscientist, who is the former director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, women need at least 20 minutes more time asleep than men for several reasons.

1. Women multitask more

Scientists indicate that the human mind’s wiring is poor at multitasking. But women are masters of multitasking. That much is settled. For example, it is too easy to find a woman handling a hungry and sleepy child on one hand and taking care of business on the other, quite literally. But this comes at a cost.


According to Dr. Horne and her team, this type of hard work leads many women to suffer from a sleep-deficit of 18%.

To put that into perspective, the same study, conducted with 210 women and 210 men in the UK found that the men only suffered from 8% sleep deprivation in comparison (Source).

This goes in line with previous research material that found more sleep is beneficial for you if you work on several tasks at a time, or in sequence.

The brain tires from all the work and brain power it has to marshal to get a dozen things done in tandem or in a snap—such as a woman responding to the needs of her whole family while getting things in order around the home and still taking on a career job.

The extra time in bed may be beneficial for her brain to recover.

2. Hormonal changes women experience demand more rest to recover

Besides deserving more shut-eye time for doing everything at once, she also needs more sleep during several other times.

  • During a menstrual period – A woman needs more sleep during her monthly menstrual cycle and closely after that to recover from the hormonal imbalances that naturally come with it.
  • During pregnancy – When her shifting body weight and shape may be presenting discomfort. One solution to use is to get an ideal mattress for pregnancy or body pillow for pregnancy.
  • During menopause –Hot flushes during this time may cause women more reason to skimp on deeply satisfying sleep, increasing their sleep debt.

3. Sleeplessness is particularly bad for women

Some time back another study supports Dr. Horne’s research results but in a different manner.

Edward Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and lead researcher in his study found out that ladies who do not get enough recovery time under the duvet are likely to suffer from adverse health issues—more than men.

Both studies found that women who missed on a good night’s sleep were more likely to wake up feeling more irritable, angry, anxious, in pain, and depressed.

Also as women get older, their Estrogen hormone levels reduce. The hormone acts as an anti-inflammatory regimen after poor sleep, so when reduced it gradually diminishes that important stress-dampening effect after a toss-and-turn night (Source).

Women’s brains are more complex and need more sleep

Sleeping point

This is one of the reasons why the National Sleep Foundation recommends ladies to avoid caffeine before sleep, eat healthy food, exercise regularly and set routine sleeping patterns and waking times to improve their sleep, and if a case of insomnia becomes apparent, to see their doctor immediately.

Also, customizing your sleep environment with the best mattress, ideal pillow (read more) and sleeping surface will do every girl a huge favor with time.

However, men who work jobs demanding lateral thinking and decision making were found to require more sleep than their male counterparts in “less demanding“ jobs—but perhaps not as much quality sleep as almost every woman needs.

Also, poor sleep makes women more susceptible to fast weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease than their male counterparts.