The Gender Sleep Gap: Why women are sleeping less than men

Women are losing out on as much as three hours sleep a night because of their partners, a new study has revealed.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Bensons for Beds, found that the average British woman estimates she sleeps THREE HOURS less than her partner every night – equating to a shocking 1,095 hours every year.

The study also found that HALF of British women say they feel constantly sleep deprived, while a third claim to have a broken night’s sleep EVERY NIGHT, compared to just two in 10 men.

And the impact is severe, with almost a quarter (73 per cent) of women claiming to be at their wit’s end due to lack of sleep, compared to 64 per cent of men.

21 per cent of the nation’s women claim they feel UGLY when they haven’t slept properly, 34 per cent feel depressed, and 21 per cent say their diet goes out of the window when they are tired.

When it comes to what keeps women awake at night, the study found that almost a quarter (22 per cent) say it’s their partner’s snoring, and 14 per cent claim it’s because it is always them who has to tend to children who wake at night, while their male partners sleep undisturbed.

In fact, a third of women believe their other halves are just inherently better at sleeping than them, while 18 per cent say that their partner is much less stressed, and so sleeps better overall.

The study also found that, when they do actually manage to get a good night’s sleep, a fifth of British women believe they look younger, 21 per cent say they feel much more confident, and 30 per cent feel more in control.

Commenting on the study, Bensons for Beds Sleep Expert, Stephanie Romiszewski said:

“It makes sense that men and women have different sleep needs – we are in some ways very different. What with hormonal changes that come with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, the biological differences alone are huge. With this in mind it’s really helpful for us to get into a few good sleep habits that can help get us through.”

Bensons For Beds Sleep Expert, Stephanie Romiszewski, shares her top tips to help you achieve better quality sleep:

Keep a regular wake time. For every human body, any kind of consistent behaviours will affect how efficient your body works. Getting up at the same time every day helps our bodies to know when to regulate when we eat, sleep and feel at our best (and to actually feel refreshed when we wake up!). If you want your body to be more predictable for you, you need to be more predictable to it. Now imagine the other patterns that women have – menstrual cycles and hormonal changes to name a few – the more you are in sync with your body in the things you can control, the more bearable and more predictable these changes can be.

Period pains can affect how we sleep, but a good healthy sleep routine can stop you being up for hours once you’re awake and can lessen the effect of the pain. Go to bed when you are sleepy, avoid forcing sleep (it won’t work anyway!). Sometimes trying the exact opposite can be very useful – try and keep your eyes open and tell yourself you will stay awake. Sometimes it’s the pressure we put ourselves under that is actually causing the lack of sleep.

Make your sleep wind down time your YOU time. Don’t see it as things you must do in order to sleep – it doesn’t work like that anyway. The more you enjoy yourself and feel happy and content before bed, the better the sleep quality. So, do the things you love and enjoy, spend time around the people that make you feel good. Good quality wake time leads to good quality sleepy time.

Bensons for Beds

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