Sleep’s Role In Women’s Health

Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects women differently than men, from greater risk of depression and mood disorders to elevated risks for heart disease – sleep impacts women differently based on a few factors such as age, gender-specific hormones, and how our brains process anxiety and stress.

UNIQUE TO WOMEN

  • While we all may struggle with how we handle poor sleep, studies have shown that women are impacted more by sleep deprivation. Women report more anger, depression, and hostility than men when they don’t get enough sleep.
  • One study completed by neuroscientist Jim Horne found that women on average need 20 more minutes of sleep than men, reasoning the tendency to multi-task and the more active use of the brain.
  • Women have higher incidences of insomnia, citing work and family stress as the main culprits of sleep loss.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of restorative sleep each night to lower your risk for heart disease, more easily manage weight, reduce stress and anxiety, and simply feel better the next day.
  • Keep a regular routine around bed and wake time, avoid heavy meals or intense exercise right before bed, and keep alcohol and nicotine use to a minimum.