Science Has Proved That Women Need A Good Night’s Sleep More Than Men Do

We've all been there: tossing and turning in the early hours and wondering how the hell you're gonna make it through the next day at work...

Science Has Proved That Women Need A Good Night's Sleep More Than Men Do

by Marianna Manson |
Published on

Crying at work because you only got 5 hours sleep and you’re tired and life is difficult is now totally acceptable, says science. Or at least, it should be.

The Metro reported today that medical researchers for the specialist journal PNAS have found that disrupted sleep affects women more severely than it does men. And that’s not just the effect it has on our skin and general perkiness – this is about cognitive function and memory capacity, the things which can really wreak havoc with our productivity at work.

The study gathered 34 men and women and altered their regular sleep routines. During their waking hours, volunteers then underwent tests measuring how tired they felt and how well they performed at basic cognitive tasks. According to the science bods, ‘Accuracy deteriorates more in women than in men when a long time awake is combined with adverse circadian phrase’.

The findings are particularly important for women who take on shift work and end up sleeping weird hours – something we’re much more likely to do than men, thanks to extra familial pressures and childcare responsibilities. The report suggests that because of this, women are ‘more affected by shift work than men and are more likely to have an accident at work.’

Professor Jim Horne, Director of the Sleep Research Centre involved in the study, pointed out that contrary to being indicative of lesser cognitive capability, the findings are more to do with the fact that our brains are more complex than men’s, and so therefore require more restorative sleep for optimum functioning. ‘The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need,’ he told The Metro. ‘Women tend to multi-task – they do lots at once and are flexible – and so they use more of their actual brain then men do. A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male, thought probably still not as much as a woman.’

Take that, stupid boys.

But what’s really important to take away from this research? ‘For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger.’

So not only are we more likely to injure ourselves, forget to save our documents and struggle to navigate the complex light-switch scenario in the bathroom when we’ve failed to get enough sleep – we’ll be insufferable arseholes all day as well.

Probably best to take the day off work, then.

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Follow Marianna on Twitter: @mmanson1992

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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