Ask Dr. Joy: How Does Gender Impact Sleep Patterns

By WEEK Reporter

Ask Dr. Joy: How Does Gender Impact Sleep Patterns

August 31, 2011 Updated Aug 31, 2011 at 6:34 PM CDT

This week we ask Dr. Joy Miller whether gender has anything to do with your sleep patterns.

You may think that both sexes tend to be the same, but research indicates there are some dramatic differences between men and women.

This is the first time we’ve ever heard research related to sleep in regards to different genders. What does this new research show?

MEN need 6.2 hours of sleep while WOMEN report they need 6.8 hours to do their best.

MEN tend to have more sleep apnea, while WOMEN tend to have more insomnia

MEN tend to stay up later and WOMEN tend to get up earlier and are morning people

WOMEN tend to get more of a deeper sleep than men and wake up fewer times during the night

WOMEN tend to be less effected by loss of sleep when it comes to mental exams vs. men

WOMEN fall asleep in 9.3 minutes and MEN typically take 23.2 minutes to fall asleep

Whatever our gender, you’ve told us in past segments that we all are not meeting our requirements for sleep and that research shows that Americans are sleep deprived. What are some tips for sleeping better?

Learn your sleep position and get into that position once you get into bed. Take some deep breathes, relax and your body will think it is time to go to sleep

Skip the afternoon coffee treats and remember that caffeine can effect you for up to 8 hours after consumption.

Go right to bed when you are tired. Don’t sit and work at the computer or watch TV for another hour . It doesn’t matter if it’s still light out, or if it is 2 hours early… when your body says sleep, it’s time.

Exercise early and eat early. Exercising at night gets you reved up and eating late keeps your body working to digest and absorb and that tends to keep you up.

Create a haven for yourself. Make the room cold, dark, and quiet and find a pillow and blanket that makes you feel safe, warm, and comfortable.

Never underestimate these simple basics if you want to have a good night’s sleep.

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