How Sleep Is Different for Men and Women

A major reason why you feel wide awake at some hour of the day and lousy at the others might be because of our Circadian Rhythm. It is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. However, in addition to that, there might be some differences in the sleep pattern according to your sex. This might as well be a possible explanation for why men tend to stay up late at night while most of the women are early birds.

Here are a few possible explanations for this difference. 


How it works

The hypothalamus is a small area of the brain that controls the circadian rhythms of our bodies. Release of a hormone known as melatonin also helps in falling asleep. Light and darkness stimulate the brain as in when to wake up and when to sleep. Well managed routines also keep your circadian rhythm in check.

Sex differences exist in sleep quality, duration, and architecture in the general population. Sleep latency is the number of minutes that it takes to fall asleep and it has proven to be higher in women as compared to that in men. Along with this, there’s a concept called ‘Slow Wave Sleep’ (SWS). Women are known to have an increased SWS level as compared to men. This is because while men’s SWS decreases with age while the levels in women are the same throughout their life.


Women in their life time experience some distinct hormonal and physical changes. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, during a woman’s lifespan, can impact her sleep health and lead to gender-specific clinical disorders. Because of these disorders, women often function on low sleep. Studies have also shown that because of this, women are more prone to industrial hazards. However, at the same time, women have also proven to be more productive while working with fewer hours of sleep.


Handling the sleep cycles

It is known that men and women have different Circadian Rhythm. While a man’s Circadian Rhythm runs true to the 24 hour cycle, women have a 6 minute shorter cycle. It’s because of this reason that women tend to feel more tired by the evening. On the other hand, men are often hit by periods of deprivation. Furthermore, women are known to cope well with lack of sleep as compared to men.


In spite of the science and the reasoning, one can still train their inner clock in a healthy and natural way to have a satisfactory sleep. A good sleep at night is extremely important to rejuvenate your body to handle the stress of the forthcoming day. Watching your diet and calming yourself before hitting the bed can be beneficial.


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