Women Need More Sleep Than Men Because We Use More Of Our Brains, So You're Only Tired Because You're So Smart, I Guess
If you, like me, did not get enough sleep last night, you can take comfort from a very strange but wonderful fact. It turns out, women need more sleep than men because we use more of our brains — which is good to know, I have to say.
According to new research conducted at Loughborough University in the U.K., women need around 20 minutes more sleep per night than men do, and it has nothing to do with beauty sleep, but rather is all about brains. "Women's brains are wired differently ... so their sleep need will be slightly greater," professor Jim Horne, the former director of the university's Sleep Research Center, told New York Post. "Women tend to multitask — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do."
That's right — women use more of our brains, so much so that it actually tires us out more.
Now, it's worth noting that this study was conducted on middle aged men and women, meaning that the results might vary widely for other age groups — after all, middle aged women have often had to go through the hectic process of trying to raise children, which is enough to force anyone to become a multitasking expert. And there are lots of other potential factors in play, all of which might mean these results won't be universal.
But it's still pretty neat. Girl power and all that fun stuff!
Of course, there is a downside to this as well for women, and not just the fact that our busy brains mean we need more sleep. It seems sleep deprivation also hits women particularly hard. “For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger,” Horne said. ”In contrast, these feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”
Sleep deprivation is no joke whoever you are, so the fact that women are particularly susceptible to side effects is a little worrying. Let us all take this time to make a note to self: Get more sleep! Because otherwise, I have a feeling the extra brain power and the sleep deprivation probably cancel each other out.