You and your hubby may be on the same page with everything else, but if you’re ready to zonk out at ten and he’s cool with staying up until two in the morning and can still wake up refreshed, you’re not alone. But it turns out, we can blame it on biology. According to Dr. Martha Cortes, who sub-specializes in the treatment of sleep breathing disorders, these are the main biological differences in the way men and women sleep.
- Women need more sleep - In general women are more skilled at multitasking than men, but all that brain power means that typically, women need more sleep so the brain can recover from the work of multitasking, Dr. Cortes explains. How much more? According to The National Sleep Foundation, it’s only about a 20-minute difference.
- Women are more likely to go to sleep earlier - And in turn, we wake up earlier, too. The National Sleep Foundation says this is caused by the difference in circadian rhythm. Dr Cortes explains women tend to have a circadian cycle that’s six minutes shorter, on average, than men.
- Insomnia is more common in women - But sleep apnea is more common in men, about 4% of them have it compared to just 2% of women.
- Women sleep deeper than men - Women require a bit more sleep, but tend to be more productive than the z’s men are catching. A study from the Penn State College of Medicine finds that women with no sleep complaints sleep better than men and young women’s sleep is “more resistant to external stressors.” Which is great when you have roommates or noisy neighbors.