Why Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

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Did you know that your gender may affect how much sleep you need to maximize your productivity? That’s right, and according to recent data, women usually require more sleep than men.

Sleep science expert Dr. Jim Horne points out the average woman needs about 20 minutes of more sleep than men – perhaps for good reason. Horne notes women commonly multi-task more frequently and use more of their actual brain than men, and as such, need extra rest to optimize their efficiency.

Furthermore, Edward Suarez, an associate professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, tells Shape Magazine that poor sleep frequently has a bigger impact on women than men. He stated that a recent sleep study showed reduced sleep in women was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, along with additional stress, depression, anger and anxiety.

Other factors may impact a woman’s sleep as well, including:

  • – Sleep problems during pregnancy due to excess weight and the position of the fetus.
  • – Hot flashes related to menopause.
  • – Going to bed worrying, and as a result, missing out on sleep.

Nothing beats a great night’s sleep, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. However, getting sufficient sleep often remains difficult for men and women alike.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states roughly 40 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders annually. In addition, about 20 million Americans experience occasional sleep problems.

So what can men and women do to minimize sleep problems? The National Sleep Foundation offers the following recommendations:

  • – Exercise Every Day. Regular exercise will help you remain active and healthy, and ultimately, may make it easier to go to bed feeling tired and sleep throughout the night.
  • – Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake. Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption throughout the day or in the hours prior to bedtime can make it tough for you to fall asleep. Conversely, those who limit alcohol and caffeine intake may be better equipped to get the Zzz’s they need night after night.
  • – Modify Your Sleep Environment. Loud noises, bright lights or other distractions may keep you up at night. But those who spend some time creating a calm, relaxing sleep environment could reap the benefits of a great night’s rest consistently.

Let’s not forget about how your mattress can affect your sleep patterns, either. If you try to sleep on an old, uncomfortable mattress, you’re unlikely to get the rest you need to maximize your productivity and efficiency.

Fortunately, Sit ‘n Sleep can help you find your perfect mattress. To learn more about our mattress options, please explore our website or visit one of our Southern California mattress superstores.

A Good Sleep a Day Will Keep the Doctor Away

Sleep away sick

“Sleep is actually important for just about everything,” says Dr. Michael Breus, Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in Sleep Disorders. “Everything from immune system to cognition, how you think, how quickly you react.[i]

Sleep plays a critical role in keeping both the body and mind healthy. Sleep is essential to maintaining and repairing key internal functions, as well as helping to protect mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. All the functions that are affected by sleep may also be negatively affected by a lack of sleep, which can be even more detrimental to one’s health by increasing the risk of serious diseases, obesity and other ailments.[ii]

So, how does sleep benefit us, and how is a lack of sleep detrimental to our health? Read on to learn more…

Function and Development:

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to the brain and body’s functions. When the body is asleep, it’s helping to repair cells and tissues and build muscle mass.[iii] Alternatively, sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and stroke.[iv]

One night of sleep loss alone increases toxic substances in the body that can lead to cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Getting only a few hours of a sleep has also been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks. [v]

Sleep also impacts the brain and can affect how well a person thinks, learns, reacts, works, and gets along with others.[vi] A lack of sleep can negatively alter brain activity, causing problems with decision-making, memory, attention span, and ability to control emotions and behavior.[vii]

Everyday Health:

Sleep is a critical factor in day-to-day health. Sleep deficiency has been shown to severely disrupt the normal functioning of the immune system, which makes the body more at risk to infections and sickness.[viii]  This reaction is also happens in response to extreme stress.

Lack of sleep can be especially detrimental to children and teens, since their risk of being overweight as an adult increases due to poor sleep habits as a child.[ix] Sleep deprivation in teens can also lead to unhealthy behaviors and may onset feelings of depression and anxiety.[x]

 How Can We Improve the Quality of our Sleep and the Quality of our Health?

Create a sleep routine by maintaining a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up the same time every day – even on weekends.

Try to eliminate noise and light at bedtime, which can interrupt sleep. If you cannot avoid noise or light, try wearing earplugs and sleep masks to mitigate outside distractions. In addition to a cool, quiet room, a comfortable and supportive mattress can eliminate physical discomfort throughout the night that might lead to sleep disruption.

Mattress fit is one of the most critical factors in getting a good night’s sleep. It is important to get the correct mattress fit as each body responds differently to different types of mattresses. Since everyone’s sleep needs are unique, invest in a mattress that provides the right amount of firmness and support to ensure body comfort and an uninterrupted healthy night’s sleep.

Just Relax…

Sleeping problems can be a vicious cycle, with a lack of sleep causing extra anxiety, and extra anxiety making it harder still to fall asleep the next night. Combine those factors with the body’s natural, negative reaction to deal with stress rather than ignore it and you’ll find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Deep breathing or meditation can help to de-stress before hitting the sheets. Yoga can also be a relaxer; some slow stretches will help the body and mind unwind before going to sleep.[xi] Reading a book, taking a bath, listening to soft music, or drinking herbal (non-caffeinated) tea are all good calming activities to do before bed and will subliminally prepare the mind for sleep.[xii]

Make a healthy night’s sleep a priority, and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy body too.

[i] http://www.thedoctorstv.com/main/content/Sleep

[ii] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2011/07/tv-nightmares-and-childrens-sleep.html

[iii] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/active-sleep-is-not-an-oxymoron.html

[iv] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/sleep-as-dangerous-as-stress-on-healthy-immune-function.html

[v] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/fit-and-sleepless-can-equal-heart-attack.html

[vi] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/02/your-brain-on-sleep.html

[vii] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2009/10/big-decisions-decided-after-allnighters-by-the-sleep-doctor.html

[viii] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/sleep-as-dangerous-as-stress-on-healthy-immune-function.html

[ix] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2008/11/sleepless-kids-become-fat-adults.html

[x] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/active-sleep-is-not-an-oxymoron.html

[xi] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2008/06/insomnia-gets-a.html

[xii] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/07/rock-yourself-to-sleep.html

[1] http://www.thedoctorstv.com/main/content/Sleep

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2011/07/tv-nightmares-and-childrens-sleep.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/active-sleep-is-not-an-oxymoron.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/sleep-as-dangerous-as-stress-on-healthy-immune-function.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/fit-and-sleepless-can-equal-heart-attack.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/02/your-brain-on-sleep.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2009/10/big-decisions-decided-after-allnighters-by-the-sleep-doctor.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/sleep-as-dangerous-as-stress-on-healthy-immune-function.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2008/11/sleepless-kids-become-fat-adults.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/03/active-sleep-is-not-an-oxymoron.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2008/06/insomnia-gets-a.html

[1] http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/07/rock-yourself-tosleep.html

 

Sleep Your Way Back to School

A shot of an asian student falling asleep while studying at home

Sleep is key to a successful school year.

One-third of Americans have been late to school or work because of a poor night’s sleep. And, it can be especially hard to bounce back into a school schedule after a summer of late nights and equally late mornings. How can you and your kids easily transition when it’s time to go back to school? A regular sleep schedule and consistent daily routines can result in greater productivity and focus for children during the school day and, in turn, will help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle those busy weekday mornings. Continue reading