The more you sleep, the better you function. What happens when a woman does not get enough sleep?
Simple: she is irritated, grumpy, and tough to deal with. Well, according to research done by scientists, we have discovered that women need at least 20 more minutes of sleep compared to men because the female brain works more vigorously during the day.
Why is this so?
Well, compared to men, women do a lot of multi-tasking and in turn occupying their brains more tirelessly. Consecutively, their brains take more time to recover. And what better way to recover than to sleep?
While we engage in deep sleep, the part of the brain responsible for thought memory, and language, also known as the cortex, pulls the plug on the senses and goes into so-called “recovery mode.”
Women are a lot more active than men are during the day, even in their less active hours. Research shows that women’s brains function differently than men’s, meaning they need rest a lot more often.
Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University in England stated, “For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger,” and “These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men. Women’s brains are wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater”
“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. A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male – though probably still not as much as a woman.”
Not only that, but according to Professor Horne, women have a higher risk of heart disease, depression and psychological problems, sleep-deprived women have extra clotting factors in their blood, which can lead to a stroke. They also have higher inflammation markers, which indicate developing health problems.
So, what’s really going on here? Let us revisit history. After a seventy-year battle for rights, the U.S. Constitution passed the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women more rights.
However, they were still expected to do the housework, take care of the children, cook, clean and make sure everyone was happy. Nowadays, women are putting in the same effort, except they also have a full-time job. Talk about multi-tasking. The fact that women need more sleep should be a given.
What does sleep deprivation do to the female brain and body? For one thing, the “cranky” is turned up a notch, and stress increases, in turn making women more prone to high blood pressure, heart attacks and a lowered quality of life overall.
This does not happen to men, however, and comparing the male and female brain would be a waste of time. Studies show that even men in stressful, decision-making environments need less rest than the average woman.
Women are usually advised to organize their time more wisely and take “power naps”, according to Dr. Breus. This means either taking 25-minute or 90-minute naps. “Any other length will make the snoozer feel worse when they wake.”
Therefore, when men argue about women who ask for gender-neutral salaries, outrage ought to be expected. If you really take a minute to wrap your head around it, asking for the same salary as your male counterpart should be a given.
So, when women are offered lower salaries than men just because of their gender, the quote by William Congreve, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” should not come as a surprise.
In the battle of the sexes, women have had more responsibilities that are arduous, which in turn either took them out of the job market for a period of time or forced them to apply for part-time roles, due to childbearing responsibilities. Consequently, this reflected poorly on the gender as a whole.
Hence, the next time you speak to a multi-tasking, working mother that may come off as cranky, or even hostile, give her a break. She may never say it, but she does not get nearly enough rest as she ought to. Women tend to care, worry and stress a lot more than men do.
She does more than she promises, and if she asks for that extra thirty minutes of sleep, try not to give her a hard time. She has more than earned it.