Women need more sleep than men, according to neuroscientists who say that, in general, women use more of their brains while they are awake.
A common stereotype is that women are far better at multi-tasking than men, and it seems there is a lot of truth to that.
While multi-tasking has clear benefits, an unfortunate side-effect is that it can leave women needing more sleep – something they can’t always get.
Professor Jim Horne is a sleep neuroscientist is a former Director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University.
He believes that a lack of sleep causes women to undergo more psychological distress.
He said: “The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.
“Women tend to multi-task — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”
He added that men who work in jobs that require plenty of decision making and lateral thinking also need extra sleep.
In 2010, Professor Horne led a research team that studied the sleeping habits of 210 men and women.
He concluded that, on average, women need 20 minutes more sleep per night than men.