Researchers from the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Sleep Med­i­cine found that women are 50% more like­ly to feel tired when they wake up in the morn­ing than men.

In a sur­vey con­duct­ed by a research orga­ni­za­tion, 2,000 par­tic­i­pants, half of whom were women, answered ques­tions about the qual­i­ty of their sleep. They were asked “how often do you wake up feel­ing well rest­ed” and were giv­en five sleep rat­ings rang­ing from “nev­er” to “always.”

Over­all, among the female par­tic­i­pants, 326 peo­ple, or 32 per­cent, said they rarely or nev­er wake up feel­ing refreshed. But only 21 per­cent of men, or 207 peo­ple, answered the same way. That is, a third of women do not feel well rest­ed com­pared to about 20 per­cent of men. By com­par­i­son, 292 women (29 per­cent) said they usu­al­ly wake up well-rest­ed. And among men, this fig­ure reach­es two-fifths (417 respon­dents, 42%).

There are sev­er­al the­o­ries why women sleep so bad­ly. One is relat­ed to the men­stru­al cycle: before the onset of men­stru­a­tion, the lev­el of prog­es­terone, a key hor­mone involved in the cycle, drops rapid­ly in a woman. This can cause bloat­ing, breast ten­der­ness, and mus­cle pain that keeps you awake at night, or mood swings that make it dif­fi­cult to fall asleep. The worst peri­od for sleep is 4–5 days before the onset of men­stru­a­tion and the first two days of dis­charge.

Experts also sug­gest­ed that wom­en’s lack of sleep may be relat­ed to child­care, with some moth­ers con­tin­u­ing to wake up at night even when their chil­dren are sleep­ing. This phe­nom­e­non of moth­ers’ shal­low sleep begins after child­birth and does not end imme­di­ate­ly when the baby stops wak­ing up at night, as moth­ers get used to respond­ing to the baby’s needs. Anoth­er prob­lem that pre­vents women from sleep­ing as well as men is the high­er preva­lence of snor­ing among males. It is dif­fi­cult to sleep well if your bed part­ner snores, twitch­es, or sleep­walks.

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