It’s science, people! Women just make more use of their brain than men do. And that is precisely why they tend to need more hours of sleep compared to men.

A sleep neuroscientist and director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University named Jim Horne says that women are just natural multitaskers. And as a result, they expose themselves to more stressful situations and strenuous activities. Horne, the author of the book Sleepfaring: A Journey Through The Science of Sleep, touches on the subject a little more in his literary works.

“The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.”… “One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself.” … “Women tend to multi-task — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”

As Horne so eloquently states:

“Women’s brains are wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. There might be some exceptions in the male realm, though. “A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male — though probably still not as much as a woman.”

But what does it mean to have less or more sleep as we try to compare the sleeping patterns of men and women? Well, based on Horne’s studies and expertise, it’s “20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this.”

Naturally, sleep duration is something that is different on a person to person basis. However, in order to get a better idea of the proper amounts of sleep that a person should be getting in relation to one’s age, look into a 2015 panel agreement that was issued by the National Sleep Foundation. The panel found that 7-8 hours of sleep for older adults is indeed the healthy benchmark.

With this context in mind, we can also touch upon another research study that focuses directly on the sleeping habits and patterns of women. This study was carried out by a team of experts at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Scientists Sara Nowakowski, PHD, Erin Heimbach, BS, and Jessica Meers, MA, all looked into the factors that might cause sleep deprivation in women. Their studies showed that stretches of reproductive hormonal changes such as the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause are all related to cases of insomnia.

For all human beings, it’s always important to get healthy doses of sleep so as to promote better performance and motor function throughout the day. Sleep deprivation is often linked to high levels of depression, hostility, anger, and anxiety especially in women. Based on Jim Horne’s expert opinion, “These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men”.

Given that, you might not want to disturb your girl’s sleeping habits anymore if you know what is good for you.

If your girl might be struggling with going to sleep at night, here are a few things that you might want to suggest to her:

1. Establish a bedtime routine that you strictly follow every single night. Establishing that routine will help send signals to the brain that it is indeed time for bed.
2. Practice the art of meditation. It helps the brain just settle down and relax when it is feeling active and agitated.
3. Practice yoga. There are specific yoga poses that will help the body to just relax.
4. Take a dose of melatonin – a natural hormone that is known to induce a person to fall asleep.

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