Neuroscientists Alert That Women Need 20 Minutes More Sleep Than Men

Sleep is a daily routine in which the brain and body rest and recover. People spend about 1/3 of their life doing it. And, what we need to remember is that it’s as important as water and food.

Without sleep, we cannot maintain the normal functions of our bodies, and our brains won’t be able to learn new things and respond quickly.

Sleeping patterns and duration change with age, and vary significantly across individuals.  For example, babies spend most of the day sleeping, from 16 to 18 hours. Children and teenagers need about 9 hours of sleep a night, while young adults from 7 to 9 hours. Adults need approximately 8 hours, while elderly, even less – about 6 hours.

But, do you know what are the sleeping needs based on gender? A recent UK study shows that women, because of their ‘complex’ brains, need more sleep than men. Isn’t this weird? Here we show you the results of the UK study.

Why Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

British scientists, led by the neuroscientist Jim Horne, alert that women need to spend more time sleeping than men, because they have a ‘more complex’ brain.

The experts from the Loughborough University in the UK, from the Sleep Research Center, performed a study on a sample of 210 women and men, of middle age. They concluded that women need 20 minutes more sleep than men. This is because the female brain performs more difficult tasks during the day than the male brain.

One of the most important functions of sleep is that it allows the brain to recover and restore. Namely, while sleeping and dreaming, the cortex, the most developed part of the brain, in charge of the executive functions like time management, planning, instinct control, organization and critical thinking, turns off and begins to recover and restore.

The length of the sleeping cycle depends on the intensity and complexity of brain activity during the entire day. The more we use the brain during the day, the longer it’ll need to recuperate, and consequently, comes the need for more sleep.

Women often perform multiple tasks simultaneously, or many jobs at the same time, with their brain functioning in a different, more complex way. Thus, they need to spend more time sleeping. But, when compared to men at the same age, it’s only about 20 minutes more sleep per day.

But, scientists remind that men who perform more complex tasks, where they have to make important decisions, need more sleep than men who perform simpler tasks.

The research also shows that a woman’s bad dream is associated with numerous side effects – deep distress, increased feeling of hostility towards others, anger, and depression. In men, such side effects of insomnia and bad dreams are not noticeable.

Tips For A Good Quality Sleep

Good quality sleep is good for the human health. Here are a few tips on how to improve it:


  • Follow a sleeping schedule – go to bed and wake up every day at the same time.
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes a day, but don’t do this before you go to bed.
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine late in the evening.
  • Take a warm bath before going to bed. Or try something else to relax.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Don’t watch television.
  • Don’t bring your mobile phone to bed.
  • If you cannot fall asleep in 20 minutes, don’t lie awake in bed. Instead, do something else, like reading a book or listening to relaxing music. A white noise machine may also be of help.

If you experience constant sleeping problems, see a doctor. You may have a sleeping disorder that requires treatment. And, you don’t want to mess around with that, as it threatens your entire health!

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep
Women Actually Do Need More Sleep Than Men
Women Need More Sleep Than Men Because Of Their ‘Complex’ Brains, Research Suggests

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