Why Do Women Sleep Worse Than Men?

Having trouble with your sleep? You're not alone. According to a recent study, one factor that significantly impacts sleep quality is biological sex. Sleep problems appear to be more common in women than in men. Dr. Renske Lok from Stanford University provides some insights into the underlying reasons.

Hormonal Fluctuations

One major factor is hormonal fluctuations. Women experience various hormonal changes throughout their lives, from menstrual cycles to pregnancy and menopause. These changes can disrupt sleep patterns and make it harder to get a good night's rest. For instance, during the menstrual cycle, fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone can lead to sleep disturbances. Pregnancy brings its own set of challenges, including physical discomfort, frequent urination, and anxiety, all of which can negatively impact sleep. Menopause is another critical period where hot flashes and night sweats can severely disrupt sleep quality.

Greater Sleep Needs

Interestingly, women generally need more sleep than men. Research suggests that women require about 20 more minutes of sleep per night due to the greater cognitive load they bear. Women's brains are wired to multitask, which can lead to higher levels of mental fatigue by the end of the day. However, despite needing more sleep, women often struggle to get it, leading to a higher prevalence of insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Higher Stress and Anxiety Levels

Women are more likely to experience higher levels of stress and anxiety, which can significantly impact sleep quality. The pressures of balancing work, family, and personal life can take a toll on mental health, leading to restless nights. Stress and anxiety can cause the mind to race, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Sleep Disorders

Certain sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome (RLS) and sleep apnea, are more common in women. RLS, characterised by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, can be particularly disruptive to sleep. Although sleep apnea is often considered a male-dominated disorder, it is also prevalent among women, especially post-menopause. However, it is frequently underdiagnosed, leading to prolonged periods of poor sleep quality.

The Impact of Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors also play a significant role in sleep quality. Women often take on the primary caregiving role in families, which can lead to fragmented sleep. Waking up to tend to children or other family members can prevent women from getting the deep, restorative sleep they need. Additionally, women are more likely to put their needs last, prioritising others over themselves, which can contribute to chronic sleep deprivation.

Solutions for Better Sleep

While the factors mentioned above can make it challenging to get a good night's sleep, there are several strategies to improve sleep quality. Creating a calming bedtime routine, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and creating a comfortable sleep environment are all essential steps.

At Dormu, we understand the importance of quality sleep. Our products are designed to help you achieve a restful night. The Dormu Weighted Blanket is perfect for reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of calm, making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Our Dormu Silk Sleep Mask ensures complete darkness and comfort, blocking out light to enhance your sleep quality. These products can be especially beneficial for anyone dealing with sleep disturbances, providing the support needed for a better night's rest.

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