BATTLE OF THE SEXES: How Men and Women Sleep Differently
Any couple that shares a bed will tell you that men and women DEFINITELY sleep differently. From temperature to snoring, to who has more trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep and more, we tackle a few key differences in men's and women's sleep and explain why this occurs.
1. Who is more prone to getting cold in their sleep?
Women. Women are notorious for getting extremely cold feet when they sleep because the nerves that control blood flow to the hands and feet are much for sensitive in women than men. This means, when your body temperature drops at night due to your circadian rhythm, blood vessels constrict, slowing the flow of warm blood to extremities, causing women’s feet to get very cold.
2. Who is more likely to snore?
Men. Men are more likely to snore because they have larger airways by comparison and their larynxes are lower in the neck, creating a more sizeable space in the back of their throat. While you’re sleeping, the muscles in your throat relax and your tongue falls back into this gap--the larger the gap, the louder and more likely the snore. Therefore, while it is not impossible for women to snore, it's more likely then men will snore both more frequently and more loudly.
3. Who is more prone to insomnia?
Women. The biological phases of their lives, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, and the accompanying hormonal shifts that women experience mean they are more likely to suffer from disruptions to their sleep on a regular basis over their lifetime. Women are also more likely to suffer from 'racing thoughts,' which is an incredibly common cause for insomnia that can be brought on by stress and anxiety.
4. Who dreams more?
Men. Men typically dream more than women because dreaming happens during REM sleep, which is the deepest phase of sleep. As we’ve previously mentioned in the above question and answer, men get more deep sleep on average than women because they generally have an easier time falling asleep and, once they are asleep, are more likely to stay asleep because they are unaffected by hormonal changes in the body that women are affected by such as menstruation and menopause.
5. Who needs more sleep?
Women. Sleep is a time when our brains are very active and also regenerate from the days’ activities. Because women’s brains expend more mental energy during the day, they require more sleep to recharge.
6. Who handles sleep deprivation better?
Men. Because women require more sleep to adequately recharge their brains from the previous days’ activities, they have a tougher time with sleep deprivation and often report more anger, hostility and depression than men who’ve had the same amount of sleep. That said, long term sleep deprivation isn’t good for the physical or mental health of men or women.
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