Do women need more sleep than men? An expert answers

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Do women need more sleep than men? An expert answers
© Provided by The Indian Express

Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining mental, physical, and emotional health. But with lockdowns imposed and offices shut yet again, people continue to work from home, a model that not only blurs the lines between office and home, but also leads to increased exposure to screens. This, coupled with pandemic-induced anxiety, and lack of physical activity not only takes a toll on one’s health, but also contributes to poor sleep quality. But it is women, especially working mothers, who are worst affected — as women need more sleep than men, say experts.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

A 2014 study, Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep Health: A Society for Women’s Health Research Report, published on the National Library of Medicine, found that the optimal sleep hours vary in men and women. It also stated that “women are 40 per cent more prone to insomnia and restless leg syndrome“, and also that men tend to have a deeper sleep than women. 

Dr Sibasish Dey, head of medical affairs, Asia and Latin America, ResMed, concurs with the findings of the study. Below, he elucidates why women need more sleep than men, repercussions of sleep deprivation, and shares tips for women to manage their sleep cycles:

Global Tech News Daily

ALSO READ |Common sleep disorders you should not ignore

Why do women need more sleep than men?

Global Tech News Daily

“Several studies have proven that the sleep requirement may slightly vary between men and women, given their biological structure. A significant factor for this is how both women and men spend their day. Research has documented the differences in the time women and men have dedicated to paid and unpaid labour, work and social responsibilities, and family caregiving,” Dr Dey told

He added that women get slightly more sleep than men, approximately 11-13 minutes more, but men tend to have a much deeper sleep. Women are more likely to get up in the middle of the night to take care of others in the family. Sleep works best when it is uninterrupted. 

“Additionally, women are more likely to take a nap during the day, suggesting that their total sleep time may be misleading. Napping during the day adds to the sleep time (number of hours spent sleeping) and makes night-time sleep less restful,” he continued.

Reasons women need more (and better quality) sleep than men:

  • Increased risk of sleep disorders: Women are 40 per cent more prone to insomnia and restless leg syndrome (RLS) which causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually because of an uncomfortable sensation disrupting sleep, requiring women to sleep a little extra to make up for the lost sleep.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Women undergo multiple hormonal changes throughout their lives. The changes create disturbances in their circadian rhythm, requiring extra sleep. 
  • Mental health: “Women are twice more likely to suffer from depression than men. In India, women tend to face adverse mental health issues due to their professional commitments and added responsibilities of household chores. A good sleep cycle is needed for them to keep their mental health in check,” Dr Dey said.
  • Personal lifestyle and fitness: A good night’s sleep aids a women’s metabolism. It gives more energy to exercise, concentrate, and perform other critical daily tasks. According to researchers at the Loughborough University U.K., women need more sleep than men due to multitasking.

ALSO READ |‘Sleep deprivation is no joke’: Kalki Koechlin pens a relatable post for new mothers

What are the repercussions of sleep deprivation in women?

Women need more sleep than men, if not the same. The consequences of a bad sleep cycle also tend to be much graver in women compared to men. Several studies have extensively shown that sleep-deprived women are at an increased risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart strokes, stress, and mental health issues than sleep-deprived men. Not only that, sleep deprivation can also aggravate pre-existing mood disturbances, such as anger, depression, and anxiety. It can lead to confusion, fatigue, and lack of vigour, ultimately impacting productivity. Women may also face more challenges in concentration than men.

Sleep deprivation may also lead to fatigue and mood swings. This is especially true for women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), leading to increased hunger, over-eating, decreased insulin sensitivity, and carbohydrate cravings. Long term lack of sleep may directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone, or L.H. that triggers ovulation to regulate the menstrual cycle and affect fertility. Women getting less than seven hours of sleep are 15% less likely to conceive than women who get seven to eight hours of sleep.

How much more sleep do women need compared to men?

While the sleep requirements vary from person to person, as per studies, women need 20 – 30 minutes of extra sleep than men to make up for the lost sleep due to their lifestyle, fitness and health requirements, responsibilities handled and hormonal changes at every stage. 

What about pregnant women?

Troubled sleep schedules are standard during pregnancy. Increased intra-abdominal pressure leading to pressure on the diaphragm, increased urination, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are just a few of the hurdles women experience, especially during the first trimester due to a spike in progesterone. It can become hard to find a comfortable sleeping position by the third trimester. At this stage, high estrogen levels can also cause some women to develop rhinitis (swelling of the nasal tissue), which can be associated with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

However, women must try to find ways to sleep well. Research has proven that pregnant women with improper sleep schedules have a greater chance of developing issues such as Preeclampsia, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, more prolonged labour, and higher caesarean rates. This is particularly true among women who get fewer than six hours of sleep over 24 hours. Lack of sleep for pregnant women can also lead to excessive weight gain due to glucose regulation. Additionally, poor sleep may also affect the developing foetus. Insufficient total sleep or fragmentation of deep sleep may reduce the amount of growth hormone released, leading to developmental or growth problems in the unborn baby.

ALSO READ |Sleep apnoea symptoms: Differences in men and women

How can women manage their sleep cycles?

Keeping a check on certain habits can manage milder sleep issues:

  • Research has proven that our body takes over four days to recover from 1 hour of sleep loss at night. Start with a consistent sleep-wake cycle and maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Try to sleep between 10 pm – 7 am, and make sure you get at least seven hours of restful sleep regularly.
  • Avoid naps during the day, and limit your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake. 
  • Avoid heavy meals at night and ensure you take a short walk after dinner. Also, avoid drinking a lot of water right before sleep to don’t have to wake up for frequent urination. 
  • Make your bedroom as calm, dark, and quiet as possible.
  • A hot water shower before bedtime can help you get a peaceful sleep at night. However, avoid boiling water if you are pregnant. 
  • Practice activities that help your mind relax right before sleeping – such as meditation or reading a book. 

However, women experiencing morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, loss of productivity, etc., must consult a sleep specialist or resort to home sleep tests.

📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!

News Related


Third Ebola patient dies in DR Congo

The third Ebola patient in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo has died, the World Health Organisation says, the latest fatality in an outbreak first reported last month. The 48-year-old man ... Read more »

UK Labour leader probed on 'virus breach'

UK police say they will investigate opposition leader Keir Starmer over a potential breach of COVID-19 lockdown rules in 2021 after receiving significant new information, delivering an embarrassing blow to ... Read more »

Beijing nervous, COVID cases not dropping

Beijing residents are fretting over tightening COVID-19 curbs in its biggest district and dozens of new cases reported daily as China's leaders reiterated their resolve to battle the virus and ... Read more »

US health authorities warn of clot peril with Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

Blood clots have ended high hopes for Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine vaccine. Photo: Getty Live US regulators are strictly limiting who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due ... Read more »

Far West hospitality venues feeling impacts of COVID on staffing numbers and work

Far west hospitality venues say they are running on bare minimum staffing numbers as COVID impacts their operations. Key points: A number of local venues are considering, or have reduced, their opening ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Third dose vaccine milestone reached as daily cases fall below 10,000

WA has marked a long-awaited vaccine milestone, a day after COVID cases reached a record peak. The Health Department has reported the third dose vaccination rate has reached 80.1 per ... Read more »

FDA restricts use of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine due to blood clot risk

The Food and Drug Administration put rigid limits on who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, saying the vaccine should only be given to people who ... Read more »

WHO says true pandemic death toll is 15 million — not six million

Live Nearly 15 million people were killed either by coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems during the first two years of the pandemic,  the World Health Organisation estimates. ... Read more »

WHO links 14.9mln deaths to COVID-19

Nearly 15 million people were killed either by coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems during the first two years of the pandemic, the World Health Organisation estimates. ... Read more »

Eleven African countries in 5th COVID wave

COVID-19 infections are on the rise in Africa but are becoming less and less fatal, an Africa CDC official says. Countries experiencing their fifth wave of cases are seeing tallies ... Read more »

Omicron 'just as severe', US study says

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, unlike assumptions made in previous studies that it was more transmissible but less severe, a large study in ... Read more »

Elderly man in Shanghai wakes up in a hearse on the way to the morgue after wrongly being declared dead

COVID has taken a huge toll on the elderly all over the world. But it appears the authorities in China may have been a little over-zealous in the case of ... Read more »

‘No end in sight’: In Beijing, fears of Shanghai-style lockdown

Officials in Chinese capital have designated 518 coronavirus outbreak sites amid growing fears of a city-wide lockdown. Read more »

COVID in WA: State reports more than 10,000 daily cases for first time in the coronavirus pandemic

WA has reported more than 10,000 daily cases of COVID for the first time in the pandemic, just days after the mask mandate and other restrictions were dropped. WA Health ... Read more »

Western Australia records more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases

Western Australia has recorded 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 overnight, surpassing the original prediction for the peak of the Omicron wave. The spike in infections comes less than one week ... Read more »

NSW push vaccines with flu on the rise

Cases of flu in NSW have more than doubled in recent weeks, leading to a spike of hospitalisations. Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said there were more than 1024 cases ... Read more »

Victoria becomes the first state to record over 3000 Covid deaths

Victoria has hit an unwanted Covid milestone after becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to record over 3000 deaths due to the virus. The Victorian Department of Health reported 14 new ... Read more »

IMAGE: Pilot program offers free flu vaccines

IMAGE: Pilot program offers free flu vaccines News Video Read more »

Can I get the flu jab if I've just had COVID-19? What you need to know about winter with both viruses

Flu season has officially arrived, with Australia already seeing thousands of cases of the virus. Both COVID-19 and influenza are now circulating in the community, and health authorities are pleading with people to ... Read more »

US Secretary of State Blinken has COVID-19

The US State Department says Secretary of State Antony Blinken has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner and related events over the weekend. Spokesman Ned ... Read more »

Virus cases dip except in Americas, Africa

The World Health Organisation says the number of newly reported coronavirus cases and deaths globally has continued to fall in the last week, continuing a decline that first began in ... Read more »

COVID in WA: State tallies record 9782 daily coronavirus cases

WA has reported a record 9782 daily COVID infections less than a week after dropping the majority of restrictions designed to contain the virus. However, the number of people in ... Read more »

SA to change virus management

South Australia will change how it handles the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as it prepares to end the state's emergency management declaration. The new Labor government has introduced legislation to amend ... Read more »

Three new Omicron subvariants in Australia

Three new Omicron subvariants have reached Australia and health authorities say people who contract the virus should wait three months before getting their next COVID-19 vaccination. Associate Professor Stuart Turville ... Read more »

Outcome on COVID vaccine IP waiver: WTO

The four main parties to negotiations on an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines have prepared an “outcome document” for approval by the broader membership. World Trade Organisation director-general Ngozi ... Read more »

Beijing tests, Shanghai eases some curbs

Some of Shanghai's 25 million people have managed to get out for short walks and shopping after enduring more than a month under a COVID-19 lockdown while China's capital Beijing ... Read more »

Regional post-COVID mental health crisis

The demand for regional mental health services has spiked since the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many psychologists to close their books because they can't keep up. It's been described as a ... Read more »

Beijing preparing for major COVID-19 spike

Beijing is preparing new hospital facilities to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases, even though the numbers of new cases remain low. A 1000-bed hospital at Xiaotangshan in the ... Read more »

Experts warn of possible renewed flu spike

Health experts are warning of a renewed spread of seasonal flu after two years of COVID-19 restrictions left fertile ground for the potentially deadly bug to spread. The number of ... Read more »

Hong Kong to further ease COVID curbs

Hong Kong will further ease COVID-19 restrictions, allowing bars to open until 2am and doubling the number of diners permitted at a table, as cases in the global financial hub ... Read more »

ACT to drop COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, teachers in Canberra

Workers in healthcare and education settings across Canberra will soon no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the ACT Health Minister has announced. Key points: Workers in disability and ... Read more »

Victoria and NSW record almost 20,000 Covid cases in 24 hours

Victoria and NSW have experienced big increases in their daily Covid numbers, with the states recording more than 19,000 new cases combined. NSW recorded 9656 infections in the 24 hours ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Infections track up with one historical death reported

Reported COVID infections tracked back up on Tuesday to 7929 with small increases also recorded in the number of people in hospital and ICU. One historical death was also reported, ... Read more »

COVID variants detected in SA for first time as health authorities also prepare for flu

South Australia's public health chief has issued a warning to parents about reduced flu immunity ahead of winter, as new COVID variants are detected in the state. Key points: SA has recorded its ... Read more »

COVID-19, flu winter resurgence predicted

Authorities are warning the easing of COVID-19 restrictions will see a spike in transmissions as well as a resurgence of flu this winter. Acting Australian Chief Medical Officer Sonya Bennett ... Read more »

Coronavirus Watch: Catch COVID this summer? Don't expect an Airbnb refund

If you catch COVID-19 ahead of your summer vacation, don’t expect an Airbnb refund. More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb says it will no ... Read more »

COVID setback for Shanghai, Beijing braces

China's commercial capital of Shanghai has been dealt a blow as authorities reported 58 new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine areas, while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of its people ... Read more »

Tourists return as NZ pandemic rules ease

New Zealand has welcomed back tourists from the US, Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years after dropping most ... Read more »

'Unprecedented' code white for three days as Mount Gambier hospital battles staffing shortages

South Australia's largest regional hospital was placed under a code white rating for three days last week, in what is understood to be a first for the facility.  Key points: ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Elective surgery opens up as virus cases remain steady

WA has recorded 5847 new COVID cases and zero deaths to 8pm on Sunday night, as private hospitals resume taking bookings for elective surgery for non-essential procedures. The numbers are ... Read more »