How similar are men and women when it comes to their sleeping patterns and habits? As it turns out, the answer is that they are significantly different and that these differences could possibly explain various health issues.
The Main Differences
- women have longer sleep than men
- women tend to wake up less times than men throughout the night
- men and women have different body clocks, a difference of 6 minutes to be exact
- women complain more than men about feeling like they don’t get enough sleep
- women are better able to handle the effects of sleep deprivation than men
- women are 50% more likely to suffer from insomnia than men
- women’s sleep is highly affected by hormonal and biological phases
The Research is Still Out
As you can see from the list above, some of the differences seem contradictory. Women, on average, sleep longer than men, but are 50% more likely to suffer from insomnia. Men complain less than women about not getting enough sleep, but don’t handle the effects of sleep deprivation as well as women. Studies continue to yield conflicting and thought-provoking results on gender and sleep.
One particularly interesting hypothesis is that there is a connection between the fact that, on average, women sleep longer than men and, on average, women are healthier than men. Women’s longevity and health could be directly connected to their sleep patterns. Another interesting suggestion is that the reason women can cope with the effects of sleep deprivation better than men is because women tend to enjoy more deep sleep than men do, and this could have a cognitive effect on the brain.
What About Dreams?
As it turns out, men and women differ significantly in their dreaming activities while sleeping as well. On average, women are much better able to recall details of their dreams and articulate them outloud. The topics of men’s and women’s dreams also offer some stark differences. Women’s dreams tend to focus on relationships, feelings, and friends and family members that are important in their lives. Men tend to dream about workplace success, cars, and strangers.
Next time you are having a discussion with the a member of the opposite sex regarding sleep, remember that the experience could be very different for the each of you.
(Photo courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk)