The National Sleep Foundations has established a certain amount of hours individuals need to sleep according to their age. However, recent studies have come to shed a new light on these needs and have established that women need more sleep than average.
Why do women need more sleep than men?
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, stated that women need more sleep because of their capacity to multitask requires them to use their brains more extensively.
This notion has already been challenged as there is yet no proof that multitasking is solely a female capacity. Furthermore, to date, no research has been conducted comparing the different needs between genders.
Researchers admit, however, that women need more sleep, they just aren’t sure if more than men or not.
Why do women need more sleep then?
Although there isn’t any scientific indication that women need more sleep than men, researchers do not question that indeed they need rest for longer general because the consequences are harder on them.
The reason lies in the hormones. During sleep, the men’s levels of testosterone increase. Since this hormone has an anti-inflammatory effect, it decreases stress and promotes a better sleep overall. Women, however, don’t have the same luck with estrogen.
To make matters worse, females have a higher tendency to suffer from insomnia, a fact already reported in two different studies in 2003 and 2004. According to these, the main causes are pregnancy, childbirth, menstruations and menopause, all stages that disrupt the female hormone balance.
For all of these reasons, women are also more likely to enter a negative cycle. Because they don’t sleep enough, they get more stressed and are physically affected, which in turn prevents them from falling asleep early and get proper rest.
Tips to get women to sleep more
If you’re a woman, you probably didn’t need any scientific study telling you to get more sleep. You already feel in your body that you should be.
What you need are strategies to help you fall asleep earlier and to make that resting time count. Here are some tips that might help you.
Set a schedule
Try to always go to bed at the same time so your body gets used to it. Just like you tend to eventually wake up by yourself even before the alarm goes off if you set it for the same time every day, the same will be valid for sleeping.
Your brain will know that resting is coming and will make preparations in advance. When you finally go to bed you will be less likely to tumble around waiting for sleep to come.
Ask for help
Make a list of all the things that are preventing you from going to bed early. Perhaps you waste time procrastinating or maybe you have so much on your hands that you simply can’t handle it all.
If it is work, it’s better to admit to your superiors that you need help than to destroy your own health. If it is housework, sit down with your partner, look at the list you have done and try to delegate some tasks.
Get your kids to help too
You can also enroll your kids in this teamwork.
Set up a “Toy X jar”, and tell them that every time they manage to have brushed their teeth, put on their pajamas and completed their homework by, let’s say 9 pm, you will add money to the jar. The more regular they are well-behaved, the faster they will get the toy they want.
Be creative and find out what motivates them. Money and toys aren’t necessarily the only mean to do so.
Remove any “noise” from your bedroom
The bedroom should only for sleep. Remove anything work-related from the room. There should be no TV, no computer and no other electronic device that can affect you with their light either (even if only the stand-by one).
Anything that you don’t like should come off too. That includes the ugly souvenir your mother-in-law gave you, and you hate but are too polite to throw it away.
Anything that annoys you, even if you don’t actively notice it, can affect your capacity to relax an sleep properly.
Several studies have already proved the relation between more physical exercise and better sleep quality.
Not only is it good for your health, but it also helps you release the tension from your muscles and free your mind. Even a 20-minute brisk walk through a park can produce results.
Get your all family to sleep better
These tips are not solely for women. All family can benefit from sleeping better and they all can use these tricks to get it. Well, maybe just don’t tell your kids about your strategy to make them work on their own.
You can check below the testimony of a mother of 4 that has a lot of troubles to sleep, and the suggestions and tips of a sleep expert to help her with her problem.