Women Are More Sleep-Deprived Than Men

Article excerpt

Nearly seven in 10 women (68%) get less than eight hours of sleep per night, according to the Better Sleep Council. Interestingly, female business professionals tend to get more sleep than housewives do. Women who are divorced or separated are more likely than single or married women to get only five hours or less of sleep nightly.

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Women age 40-60 are particularly sleep-deprived, getting an average of only five hours per night. Nearly three in 10 (27%) Hispanic women, compared with 22% of African American women and 13% of Non-Hispanic White women, say they don't get enough sleep.

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The three top factors contributing to women's sleep problems are work-or family-related stress, ailments such as allergies or colds, and uncomfortable beds or pillows. Hormonal fluctuations can also be culprits, according to the National Sleep Foundation, which may help explain why women in their 40s and 50s have particular trouble sleeping.

A separate study by the National Sleep Foundation finds that women need more sleep to function well than men do--female respondents say they need an average of 6.8 hours per night, compared with male respondents' average of 6.2.

Women (57%) are more likely than men (51%) to have at least one symptom of insomnia at least a few nights per week. They're also more likely to be sleepy during the daytime at least one day a week (53% versus 47%), to take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep (28% versus 16%), and to consider themselves "evening people" (44% versus 37%). [HUMAN BEHAVIOR, HEALTHCARE/MEDICAL]

MINIMUM HOURS OF SLEEP NEEDED TO FUNCTION WELL, BY GENDER

             Women  Men

Less than 6   17%   26%
        6-7   26%   32%
        7-8   21%   20%
  8 or more   34%   18%

SOURCE: National Sleep Foundation

Note: Table made from bar graph. …