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Do Men and Women Sleep Differently?


We don’t need to tell you there are some major distinctions in the bodies of men and women. What may surprise you, though, is that these fundamental biological differences actually affect your sleep! In fact, the way that men and women get their rest, the amount of deep sleep that they require, and the sleep challenges that they face are quite unique from one another. Unfortunately, women have more hurdles to a great night’s sleep than men- but they aren’t the only ones with some bad news. Let’s break all of this down and take a look at some of the most prominent differences:

How Men and Women Sleep Differently

#1 Circadian Rhythms

Men and Women’s Basic Circadian Rhythms are Different. This recent scientific study found marked distinctions in the circadian rhythms of men and women, most notably that women’s circadian clocks are set to an earlier hour than men’s, making them more inclined to fall asleep earlier and also to wake earlier. Also, circadian cycles were actually shorter for women than for men, by six minutes.

#2 Women vs Men Sleep

Because our Circadian Rhythms are Different, our Active Hours are too. As mentioned above, women tend to be tired earlier on in the evening and fall asleep earlier. This has a significant impact on when nightly sleep occurs and on when energy levels peak during the day. It leads to regularly waking up earlier and being more active early in the morning, when compared to males.

#3 Catch Up On Sleep 

Women can “Catch up” on Sleep Quicker Than Men. Another recent study found that women tend to perform better than men when low on sleep, and also can rebound more quickly from mild sleep deprivation during the work week when they get restorative sleep over the weekend. In this study, women and men were asked to sleep for only six hours per night, over six consecutive nights, to mirror the usual sleep deprivation that many of us experience during a busy work week. The participants then spent two nights making up for their lack of rest with extended overnight sleep. The women scored higher on performance tests during the period of low sleep, and then their performance improved more than men’s after two nights of extended sleep.

#4 Insomnia

Women are More Likely to Have Insomnia. In fact, women are twice as likely to have Insomnia as men. Much of the reason why is that women are affected by their hormones and biological phases of their life more often than men, and many of these contribute to sleep loss. There’s a strong connection between hormones and sleep. In fact, when researchers study boys and girls and their sleep, there are no differences until puberty starts. Big hormonal milestones in a woman’s life, like pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause, can then wreak havoc with regular schedules and sleep. As an example, many postmenopausal women frequently wake up with hot flashes.

#5 Sleep Apnea

Men are More Likely to Have Sleep Apnea. Of course, women aren’t the only ones with some specific sleep issues. Men are twice as likely to have their sleep affected by Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a chronic sleeping condition where airways are obstructed, causing sufferers to choke and snore in their sleep. Men are more likely to have Sleep Apnea than women, but no one knows exactly why. One cause may be weight, as Sleep Apnea is affected by your weight and men tend to weigh more than women.

This is incredibly interesting, both to researchers and to the average person. Is there anything we can actually do about these sleep-related troubles, though? Regardless of your gender, if you consistently do not get enough quality sleep, you run the risk of additional health problems, including heart problems, Depression, Alzheimer's, and other conditions. The right mattress, one that is specific to your sleep comfort needs, will go a long way toward getting you the deep sleep that your body needs. However, many of us share a bed with someone of the opposite gender- so what is the solution? For many couples, the answer is an adjustable bed. An adjustable bed is a bed frame that can be moved or “adjusted” to a number of different positions. Common adjustments include inclining the upper body to help with Sleep Apnea or raising the lower body to fight Restless Leg Syndrome.

Here at City Mattress, we like to say we are the adjustable bed experts. That is because we know everything there is to know about adjustable beds, and our Sleep Experts can help you find your perfect model. Come in and speak with us about some of the sleep issues you, your bed partner, or both of you are having. We will find the right solution, a comfortable mattress, to help alleviate any troubles you are having.