Have you ever wondered if you sleep better than your significant other or vice-verse? Ever thought about the fact that men and women sleep differently? It’s an interesting concept and one that a lot of people don’t really think about. The Wall Street Journal did a series of articles on the sleeping of different sexes and came out with some very interesting conclusions. It seems that we don’t all sleep the same and a lot of that has to do with the fact that the old legend holds true, men and women are very different creatures.
Sometimes, no matter how comfortable and supportive your talalay mattress is, some nights you just can’t fall asleep. Be it stress from work, kids or friends, it seems that you can never close your eyes. Then you look over to your side and see your significant other passed out in dream land and the green monster of jealousy comes out in you. How come he (or she) can fall asleep with the same stresses and pressures that you have, with little to no problem? Let’s find out.
Men and from Mars, Women are from Venus
According to The Wall Street Journal, overall, women tend to have more deep sleep in the REM cycles and awaken fewer times during the night than men do. They also weather some of the effects of a lack of sleep better than men, according to recent studies. Still, men overall say they are more satisfied with the amount and quality of their shut-eye than are women.
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Getting enough sleep is an important factor in maintaining overall health. Scientists are increasingly focusing on gender differences in sleep, seeking clues about why women are more likely to suffer insomnia, for instance. Some researchers suggest that differences in sleep patterns could help explain why women live longer than men.
“Women on average have longer sleep than men; women on average are healthier than men. It could be that those are related,” says Daniel J. Buysse, a professor of psychiatry and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh. Sleep difficulties have been linked in many studies with chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It’s All About the Body Clock
One of the main reasons for the differences in sleep cycles is that men and women have different body clocks. Men’s average “circadian period” was 24 hours, 11 minutes—six minutes longer than for women, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s annual meeting in June in Minneapolis. Although six minutes doesn’t seem like a big deal, the effects can compound day after day. Researchers determined circadian period by measuring core body temperature and levels of the hormone melatonin.
It’s Better Together
On which nights did both sexes sleep better? Interestingly, on the days women said they had more positive interactions with their partners and fewer negative ones, the men slept better at night, too. “Women tend to drive the emotional content of the relationships,” says Dr. Troxel, who co-wrote the study. “Husbands may take up a stronger signal” from wives.
So while it seems that women may wake up fewer times in the night, men still sleep better than women. This doesn’t mean we can’t strive for perfection ladies! Do you have an interesting story about the sleep habit of you or your significant other? Let us know!
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