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It’s 9:00 pm, and the house is quiet. The lights are low, and the electronics have been stowed away. It’s time for sleep – not just for your children but for the women in your house as well. When it comes to sleep, men should implement the Titanic rule: Women and children first! After all, their bodies need it more. So, do women need more sleep than men? We believe so, but it all depends on each individual man and woman’s unique physiological needs. However, at The Wellness Way, we look at every aspect of health and the interconnectivity of the body’s systems: Sleep is a supportive function of many systems in the body, and while many women could potentially benefit from additional sleep support, the entire family can reap many health benefits from an earlier bedtime.

A Woman’s Body Typically Needs Additional Sleep Support

Six or seven hours of sleep may not the same as six or seven hours of sleep for some women, because that sleep deficit could potentially affect her health and wellbeing.  Unfortunately, many women could be overburdened with the demands of life that they may not always be able to support their bodies with substantial sleep, which could affect health.

Sleep and Health for Women vs. Men: Physiology, Not Philosophy


Recent articles make the claim that women need 20 more minutes of sleep, but that’s a conservative estimate. In reality, some women could benefit from 1-2 hours more sleep than men – sometimes even longer. Lack of sleep could affect the amount of stress placed on a woman’s body compared to a man’s body. A sleep study from Duke University found that when women are sleep-deprived, there’s a greater chance they could be affected by psychological and physical problems. [1]

Sleep deprivation in women could even affect feelings of hostility, depression, and anger. Many fatigued women also exhibited affected levels of inflammatory markers and insulin. According to sleep expert Dr. Matthew Walker, for many women, their sleep deprivation could affect the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, and maybe other illnesses.

When Women Don’t Sleep Enough, it May Affect Their Health

Sleep costs nothing but could be supportive for overall health – especially the health of some women. When supporting her body’s need for sleep, it could support health in a more impactful way than for some men. 

Parents and children alike would likely benefit from the support of additional sleep. Supporting sleep health should be a priority for just about every member of the family, and getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important steps a family can take together to support their overall health. Let’s face it: Everyone could potentially benefit from prioritizing adequate sleep.

Why Do Some Women Need More Sleep Support than Men?

 


Men and women are biologically different, and this affects how much sleep their bodies may need. Many men can function with less sleep than women can, both mentally and physically. In other words, a man’s body is more likely to be able to handle the stress of sleep deprivation.

Physiologically speaking, different bodies may require different sleep needs: Men could still benefit from 8 hours of sleep, whereas many women might need 8-10 hours of sleep to support their hormone levels.

While sleep cycles could function similarly, cortisol, melatonin, growth hormone, testosterone, and progesterone could fluctuate earlier in the sleep cycle for most women than the hormone fluctuations for many men.

  • Cortisol is one of the hormones that gets you moving during the day.
  • Melatonin could support sleep, fluctuating for some women around 9:00pm but perhaps not fluctuating as drastically for many men until 10:00pm or 11:00 pm.
  • Women also are likely to have melatonin in the bloodstream for longer periods.

Hormones Could Affect Sleep

Hormones could affect sleep: Someone who may not support their body’s need for sleep could also be affecting their hormone levels, which could affect their sleep cycle. Conversely, woman’s body is likely to support this hormonal fuel tank between 9:00pm and 3:00am. Night-owls could affect their fuel tank’s hormonal reserves.

Adrenals and Sleep

Remember how the cortisol hormone gets you moving during the day? Cortisol is released or produced by the adrenals.

  • The adrenals could support about 2-5% of a many men’s testosterone levels: Approximately 95-97% of his testosterone is likely supported by the testicles.
  • The adrenals could be responsible for a portion of female hormones.
  • Consider what may happen when some women are sleep-deprived: Sleep deprivation could affect cortisol production. Ultimately, it can affect the production of other hormones while affecting body stress levels.

The body could be compared to a Swiss watch, and these disruptions could affect hormones which could potentially affect cumulative sleep. This may not affect men in quite the same way because their primary steroid hormone is testosterone, which is supported by the testes.

Supporting testosterone in the morning could help many men in getting started for the day. In some cases, testosterone could include anti-inflammatory support for the body while perhaps affecting stress hormone levels.

Male Hormones May Support Falling Asleep Easily

The differences in hormones may not always be in a woman’s favor: Her hormones may make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place! For some women, if her brain is still running in circles from the day’s activities, it could likely affect her ability to fall asleep. For many women and men, chamomile could be recommended by a health restoration coach to support an active mind at bedtime.

Women May Need More Sleep

If you’re supporting your body’s health, supporting sleep could be part of that. Your body may need the support of rest because rest can also support regenerative processes, hormone production, brain wave activity, and potentially other biological processes. Many women could support their health with the support of additional sleep. In fact, families could use the additional support from more cumulative sleep hours. Sleep is everything for women and their families. Support your body’s need for sleep, to support your own health while potentially supporting the health of your family.

You can also learn more about how hormones affect sleep in the video below:

For more of Doc’s perspective on sleep and hormone levels, stay up to date on all upcoming speaking events and seminars in your community and be sure to follow Doc on Instagram @drpatrickflynn

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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