October 18, 2023

Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

Woman laying in bed sleeping

Everyone has different sleep requirements based on several factors. However, generally speaking, women need more sleep than men. The difference isn’t dramatic — between 10 and 20 minutes per night — but it’s significant. And getting less sleep than needed can adversely affect a woman’s overall wellness.

This article explains why females need more sleep than males, how much sleep women need, and what to do if you aren’t getting enough sleep.

Why Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

There are several reasons women need more sleep than men. One is that their bodies go through various changes that men’s bodies don’t, including pregnancy and menopause, which can be physically taxing.

Another reason for the difference in sleep requirements is that women’s hormone levels change significantly throughout each month due to their menstrual cycles. These changes can also take a physical toll.

In addition, in some households, women are more active throughout the day than their male partners. They may work outside the home while also taking a lead role in caring for their children, managing the household, coordinating the family’s social calendar, etc.

Do Women Get Enough Sleep?

Many men and women suffer from sleep problems, including not getting enough sleep, poor sleep quality, or both. However, women tend to experience more sleep disorders than men.

Causes of sleep disorders in women include:

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Deteriorating sleep quality with age
  • Chronic illnesses and their treatments
  • Nocturia (waking two or more times nightly to urinate)
  • Daytime napping

Consequently, while many women enjoy enough quality sleep, a significant percentage don’t get an adequate amount.

How Much Sleep Should a Woman Get?

On average, women need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. However, the requirement varies some what by their physical condition and stage of life.

For example, pregnant women may need 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly, and they should get at least 7 hours per night after giving birth to recover from that experience and help prevent postpartum depression. Of course, this can be challenging with a newborn in the house.

Conversely, older women may require less than the average number of sleep hours. 

Get Help with Sleep Problems from Baptist Health

Getting enough sleep is essential to our health and well-being. Do women need more sleep than men? Typically, they do for several reasons, including hormonal changes, physical changes, and activity levels.

How much sleep do women need? That depends on several factors. However, if you don’t feel rested and refreshed in the morning, that’s a sign you’re not getting enough sleep or have poor sleep quality.

Remember that decreases in sleep quantity, quality, or both aren’t something you should “just get used to.” Persistent sleep problems can lead to other health issues. They can also adversely affect your quality of life.

Consequently, you should address them with the help of your Baptist Health primary care doctor. They can also refer you to our sleep experts for specialized assessment and treatment if appropriate.

Learn More.