According to one new study, women need more sleep than the men. The researchers from Duke University have found out that women in a comparison with men have more physical and mental consequences from inadequate rest. Besides giving half the population a valid reason to sleep in, the discoveries can also inspire new health advices for women at greater risk of depression, heart disease, and psychological problems.
The study, led by Michael Breus, who is a sleep expert and clinical psychologist, estimated women and men’s respective needs for sleep by determining their ability to deal with the insufficient sleep. The experiment, according to Breus, suggested a strong difference between the genders. He said that they discovered that women had more anger, depression and they had more hostility early in the morning.
Who needs how much?
It is believed that many biological factors contribute to this difference. Some experts believe that it comes down to mental energy consumption. They say that women use the brain more than men do.
One of the essential activity of sleep is to allow the brain to repair and recover itself. During the deep sleep, the cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory, thought, language and so on, disengages from the senses and goes straight into recovery mode, according to Jim Horne, who is the director of the Sleep Research Center at the Loughborough University in England. He said that the more of the brain we use during one day, the more of it that needs to recover and because of that the more sleep we need. Women usually tend to multi-task, they do a lot of things at once and they are flexible, and so they use the brain more than men do.
If happens men to use the brains more during one day, they would also need a few hours extra sleep. Horne said that the man who has a complex job that includes a lot of lateral thinking and decision-making might also need more sleep than the average man, but still not as much as a woman.
The Science of Sleep
The study of Breus and his colleagues adds to that growing number of scientific researches into the health consequences of sleep deprivation. The researchers from Case Western Reverse University School of Medicine presented a correlation between accelerated skin aging and inadequate rest.
Some other studies have connected poor sleeping to an elevated risk of blood clots, heart disease, psychiatric problems and stroke. The average American adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep.