Study reveals surprising differences in how men and women experience sleep

Sleep is essential for our wellbeing, but recent research has unveiled intriguing variances in how men and women experience it [1]. A review by experts published in Sleep Medicine Reviews sheds light on these differences, encompassing sleep patterns, circadian rhythms and metabolism.

1. Sleep patterns

Men and women exhibit disparities in sleep patterns. While men tend to have longer sleep durations and higher sleep efficiency, women are more prone to experiencing sleep disturbances, such as waking up frequently at night.

This variance may stem from hormonal differences and life stages, such as pregnancy and menopause, which can affect sleep quality in women.

2. Circadian rhythms

The body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, governs sleep-wake cycles. Interestingly, women often have earlier circadian phases, meaning they tend to feel sleepy earlier in the evening and wake up earlier than men. This variation could be linked to hormonal influences and evolutionary factors.

3. Metabolism

Metabolic processes also exhibit gender-specific nuances regarding sleep. Research suggests that women may be more susceptible to disturbances in glucose metabolism following inadequate sleep than men.

This discrepancy highlights the intricate interplay between sleep and metabolic health, emphasizing the importance of quality sleep for both genders.

Understanding these gender differences in sleep is crucial for developing tailored approaches to improve sleep quality and overall health.

By recognizing the unique challenges men and women face in maintaining healthy sleep patterns, healthcare providers can offer targeted interventions and strategies to optimize sleep outcomes for all individuals [2].

While men and women share the fundamental need for adequate sleep, their experiences with sleep can vary significantly [3]. Factors such as hormonal fluctuations, circadian rhythms and metabolic processes contribute to these differences. 

[1] https://www.news-medical.net/news/20240412/New-review-explores-the-key-gender-differences-in-sleep-circadian-rhythms-and-metabolism.aspx
[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079224000303?via%3Dihub
[3] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-is-sleep-different-for-men-and-women

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