A leading research expert at the University of Lincoln claims women need more sleep than men.
Dr Simon Durrant, who is director of research at the university’s School of Psychology, says that women need and get an average of 11 minutes more kip than men.
His theory is based on a number of studies including one report in RSVPLive that says women need more sleep than men.
This has been attributed to a number of reasons.
Women doing more multi-tasking than men, their sleep cycle which includes going to bed earlier than men even though they get up at the same time, and doing more ‘physical’ jobs at home could all be reasons as to why, according to the researcher.
“Increased cognitive demands could be one of those reasons, but the picture is more complex than that,” he said.
“Women also still do more unpaid physical work at home, women tend to go to bed earlier due to an earlier circadian cycle while both sexes get up in response to social, work or family demands.”
He added that women are also more likely to suffer from insomnia which would lead them to go to bed earlier in an attempt to get more sleep.
It comes after a report in RSVPLive that says women need more sleep than men due to the increased demands of multi-tasking on their brains.
According to sleep neuroscientist Professor Jim Horne, who is cited in the article, women can experience increased levels of psychological distress due to lack of sleep, while men don’t.
However, he says there is no evidence to support the idea that a lack of sleep affects the mental state of women more than men.
“Psychological distress – and reduced daytime functioning – occurs in both men and women in response to sleep deprivation; there are substantial differences in how susceptible people are to the effects of sleep deprivation but these are strongly individual differences,” he said.
“It’s not true to say in a blanket way that men don’t experience psychological distress in response to sleep deprivation.
“There is some evidence that genetic factors are likely to play a role here, which is unsurprising as sleep patterns are strongly heritable.”
However, Dr Durrant does ultimately admit that more research is needed to support the claim that increased demands on the brain lead to women needing more sleep, something for which “there is not yet direct evidence”.
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