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Do Men or Women Need More Sleep?

Is there a gender difference between how much sleep you need at night? A recent Duke study may help answer this question. Researchers found that about 40% of men and women self-identified as poor sleepers.

Yet it was found in this study that women needed an average of 20 minutes more sleep each night.  The idea that women need more sleep than men is agreed on by Dr. Jim Horne a sleep expert. He explains that women on average use their brain more during the day than men. One of the key functions of sleep is healing your brain.

This result is also supported by crowdsourced data from Jawbone. They also found that women on average sleep more than 20 minutes a night. They point out this amounts to an extra full 5 days of sleeping a year than man.

It’s hard to find causality between the longer sleeping and one direct reason. Some have suggested that it could be biological reasons including pregnancy, menopause, or nursing. Men also have unique biological reasons for sleeping more. Conditions like sleep apnea are more prevalent in people of a higher body mass. The majority of people with sleep apnea are males.