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Nearly a third of US women report never feeling well-rested after sleep – compared to one-fifth of men, study finds
- More than 2,000 Americans – half of them women – were surveyed for how they felt after they woke up for a week
- Among women 32 percent said they rarely felt well-rested, while among men it was about 50 percent lower at 21 percent
- Menstruation, concerns over children and partners have previously been blamed for women struggling to get a good night’s sleep
- CDC officials recommend that everyone sleeps for at least seven hours every night, though many are not reaching that figure
Women are 50 percent more likely to report still feeling tired when they wake up every morning than men are, a new study finds.
Researchers at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that one-third of women report that they never feel well rested when they wake up, compared to around 20 percent of men.
Menstruation, concerns over their children and even restless partners have all been blamed for women being more likely to suffer a bad night’s rest.
The average person is recommended to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But a third of Americans fail to get even this much.
More than 2,000 Americans — half being women — were questioned by U.S. experts on how they felt after sleep over the course of a week (file photo)
How much sleep do I need every night?
The CDC says all adults should seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
But it estimates about a third fail to get this much.
Children need more sleep, around nine to 13 hours a night.
And toddlers and babies need the most, from 12 to 17 hours.
Not sleeping enough leaves someone at risk of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
The CDC says those who struggle to get to sleep may be suffering from stress, depression, alcohol, caffeine or sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, among other reasons.
In the survey — carried out by research organization the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) — 2,000 participants, half of which were women, answered questions on their quality of sleep.
They were asked, ‘how often do you wake up feeling well-rested’, and given five options to rate their sleep — between ‘ never’ to ‘always’.
Overall, among the female participants 326 — or 32 percent — said they would rarely or never wake up feeling well rested.
But only 21 percent of men, or 207, responded the same — a drop of more than 50 percent.
For comparison, 292 females (29 percent) said they normally wake up feeling well-rested.
But among men this was as high as two-fifths (417 respondents, 42 percent).
There are several theories why women struggle to sleep as well as men.
But an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, — who was not involved in the survey — says it is likely down to the menstrual cycle.
Dr Sara Nowakowski, a sleep researcher at the Waco, Texas-based school, previously warned this could trigger problems sleeping.
Before a woman’s period starts her levels of progesterone — a key hormone involved in the cycle — drop rapidly.
It may be because of signs such as bloating, breast tenderness and muscle pain keeping someone awake at night, she said, or because of fluctuations in mood leaving a woman feeling depressed, angry or irritable.
‘The worst time for sleep and mood… is during the four to five days before your period through the first two days of your period,’ Nowakowski said.
Other experts have suggested it could be down to concerns over children, pointing out some mothers keep waking in the night even when their youngsters are asleep.
Dr Michelle Drerup, a sleep psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, previously told CNN: ‘They have “mommy ears” — they’re still not sleeping as deeply because they were used to responding to their infant.’
The expert also said someone’s partner could be to blame for their struggles at night, especially if they snore, twitch or sleep walk.
‘It means that in most cases one person is blissfully conked out while the other is lying awake, pissed off,’ she said.
Dr Seema Khosla, from the AASM, said to CNN: ‘There’s an incredible amount of pressure that some women feel — the need to work, manage a household and raise children, all with a smile.
‘Sometimes, we need to put away our superhero capes. We need to get back to the pillars of health — nutrition, exercise and sleep.’