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How much sleep does woman need: Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

We know that sleep is important for overall health, but does the amount of sleep you need vary between men and women? It turns out the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

A lack of sleep can affect your mental health, energy levels, and overall wellness. So, getting enough sleep for your unique body is critical.

While there is little evidence to suggest that all women need more sleep than men across the board, there are certain factors affecting some women that may cause them to need more sleep or be at higher risk for not meeting their sleep needs. 

That’s why in this article, we’ll be covering some of the factors that impact women’s health and sleep needs, plus a few tips for getting better sleep.

Why Might Women Need More Sleep than Men?

While women do not innately need more sleep than men, there are some reasons why women may need a little extra sleep or may be at higher risk for not meeting some of their sleep needs. These factors include things like hormones, menstruation, pregnancy, and social factors. 

But before we get into it, it’s important to note that experiencing disrupted sleep or irregular sleep patterns due to these factors does not necessarily mean that women need more or longer sleep. It’s more about finding what works best for you, but when in doubt, be sure to consult a trusted healthcare provider.

 Here are a few of the factors that may affect women’s sleep: 

Hormone Levels

There is a lot of evidence that suggests women’s sex hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, impact women’s sleep. In fact, research shows that sleep disturbances in women are most pronounced during periods of life characterized by changes in hormone levels.

For example, young women experience a surge of hormonal changes during puberty. During this time, they are almost three times as likely as adolescent boys to develop insomnia. 

Women also show different sleep architectures during different stages of their ovulation cycles, which correspond to changes in hormone levels. Sleep architecture refers to the basic structural organization of normal sleep. 

Some women experience changes in the length and quality of sleep phases like NREM and REM sleep during different stages of their lives, which are characterized by changes in their hormones. These include menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy, and menopause. 


Research has found that changes in sleep architecture occur during the different phases of the menstrual cycle. A regular menstrual cycle occurs in two main phases: the follicular phase and the luteal phase.

Most sleep disturbances during the menstrual cycle take place during the luteal phase, which is characterized by a rise in progesterone levels after ovulation before a sharp decline ahead of menstruation. During this phase, some women experience:

  • Increased sleep onset insomnia
  • More awakenings during sleep
  • Lower sleep quality and efficiency
  • Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS

Women experiencing PMS often self-report having more unpleasant dreams, nocturnal awakenings, morning tiredness, and increased mental activity at night when compared to women who don’t experience PMS. Women with PMS are also more likely to report insomnia, migraines, and daytime sleepiness. 


Research shows that self-reported sleep issues increase during the course of pregnancy, with 68 percent of pregnant women reporting having altered sleep. The most common reasons include an increase in urinary frequency, headaches, and leg cramps.

Some pregnant women also report that waking up during the night, difficulty falling and staying asleep, and daytime sleepiness all increase as pregnancy progresses. Almost half of all pregnant women also report an increase in symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring.

Many of these effects on sleep may be attributed to physical changes during pregnancy, like increased abdominal mass, movement of the fetus, and more. Other sleep problems occuring after birth, such as increased wake time, decreased REM duration, and decrease in sleep efficiency may be related to the care and feeding of newborns.


Menopause is the natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Menopause typically happens in your 40s or 50s, with the average age of menopause in the U.S. being 51. 

During menopause, estrogen, progesterone, and estradiol levels begin to fall, leading to changes in the body which can affect your sleep. In fact, postmenopausal women have the highest rate of insomnia complaints in the general U.S. population.

Some women (about 80 percent) experience vasomotor symptoms during menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms are associated with poorer self-reported sleep quality and chronic insomnia.

Some research shows that women with moderate to severe hot flashes are almost three times more likely to report frequent nighttime awakenings compared to women without hot flashes.  Other studies suggest that some of these sleep issues, like more frequent nighttime awakenings and trouble falling asleep, could be caused by decreasing estrogen levels.

Other Sleep Disruptors

Beyond factors such as hormonal changes, pregnancy, and menopause, women tend to self-report more general sleep disorders than men in general. In fact, according to one study, women are:

  • 41 percent more likely to experience insomnia than men
  • Twice as likely to experience restless leg syndrome
  • More likely than men to report having trouble staying asleep, feeling unrefreshed in the morning, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • More likely than men to be diagnosed with anxiety and major depression

These disorders have a bidirectional relationship with insomnia, meaning that anxiety and depression may be linked to this condition. However, studies have shown that differences in sleep problems for women and men remain even after controlling for psychological issues. 

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Women Need?

According to the U.S. Department of Health, adult women should be getting somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. People who are pregnant may need more, and people who are older may need less sleep.

Talk to your doctor about the right amount of sleep for you, since other factors such as age and activity levels can also affect your sleep requirements.

6 Tips for Improving Quality of Sleep

If you struggle with sleep issues and getting enough sleep, it’s important to consult with your doctor. However, there are some simple changes you can make at home in the meantime. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.

1) Keep a Regular Bedtime

An irregular bedtime schedule has been shown to interfere with sleep quality. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule may benefit your circadian rhythm, which may improve your sleep.  

Try setting a consistent time for turning out the lights and getting into bed, and stick to it every day. There are even some handy sleep apps out there that can help you stay accountable to your sleep schedule at night.

2) Examine Your Eating Habits

The food you eat may have an effect on your quality of sleep. As a general rule, it can be a good idea to avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime. But for some people, what you eat may be even more important than when.  

For example, spicy foods can cause acid reflux, which can be worsened by lying down. Spicy foods can also increase your body temperature, which has been linked to poor sleep quality. 

Foods containing added sugar and refined carbs, like sodas, instant noodles, fast foods, and desserts, have also been shown to interfere with sleep quality. A high intake of trans fats and calories may also contribute to insomnia, and eating fatty foods before bed has also been linked to poor sleep.

Caffeine and alcohol consumption can also influence sleep. Researchers recommend sticking to caffeine consumption in the morning to avoid sleep disruption and decreasing overall amounts to tolerance. High alcohol consumption is also associated with poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep duration.

3) Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment

Your sleeping environment is a crucial component of good sleep hygiene. Here are some tips for a sleep-conducive environment:

  • If you live in an area with lots of noise, try keeping your room quiet by blocking out noise with a fan, white noise machine, or earplugs.
  • Keep your room at a comfortable temperature that isn’t too hot or too cold: the ideal range is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your bedroom dark when you’re trying to fall asleep.

4) Limit Exposure to Screens Before Bed

Research shows that the use of light-emitting screens, like laptops, tablets, and smartphones, before bed can cause disruptions in sleep. This is because the blue-wavelength lights these screens emit can suppress melatonin. 

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps you sleep, and increases your brain’s alertness. So, to make it easier to fall asleep, you may want to avoid using these screens before bedtime. 

5) Avoid Poor Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a collection of habits and sleeping conditions that affect your sleep. Poor sleep hygiene can interfere with your sleep quality. Some examples of poor sleep hygiene to avoid include: 

  • Sleeping in a room that is too hot or too cold
  • Taking frequent naps in the daytime, which can interfere with your ability to sleep at night
  • Sleeping in a loud room
  • Keeping an irregular bedtime schedule

6) Wind Down with Relaxing Activities

Relaxing activities at night can help your body wind down, ease your mind, and lead to more quality sleep. Some good relaxation activities to try include:

  • Reading a book
  • Taking a warm shower or bath before bed
  • Meditation or breathing techniques
  • Light stretching or yoga

Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men? It Depends on Who You Ask

Everyone needs and deserves a good night’s sleep. But do some people really need more than others?

Turns out, women may need more sleep than men. Here’s a closer look at how much more they might need, why they might need more, and tips for getting more sleep, regardless of your sex or gender.

You’ll notice that the language used to share stats and other data points is pretty binary, fluctuating between the use of “male” and “female” or “men” and “women.”

Although we typically avoid language like this, specificity is key when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.

Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didn’t report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.

Was this helpful?

There’s no specific research-backed number when it comes to how many hours of sleep women need compared to men. Adults of any sex need 7 or more hours of sleep a day for optimal health.

But when it comes to the differences in sleep, research showed that women tend to get sleep more than men by 11 to 13 minutes — give or take a few based on variables that we’ll get into in a moment.

Research suggests that sleep differences between men and woman come down to numerous behavioral and biological variables that change through the different stages of life. That said, nearly every study on the topic mentions the need for more research in this area to better understand the roles that sex and gender play in sleep needs.

Increased risk of sleep disorders

A 2014 research review showed that women’s risk of experiencing insomnia is 40 percent higher compared to men, which might lead them to get some extra sleep in an attempt to make up for hours of tossing and turning.

Women also have a higher risk of developing restless leg syndrome (RLS) and sleep apnea, both of which can impact sleep quality, causing you to need more sleep to feel rested.


Hormone fluctuations related to menstruation can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially during the premenstrual stage.

Same goes for pregnancy, when changes in hormone levels throughout the different trimesters can cause:

  • fatigue
  • drowsiness
  • frequent urination (causing lots of nighttime trips to the bathroom)
  • RLS
  • breathing concerns

Then comes perimenopause and menopause, when hormone fluctuations can cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, which can disrupt sleep.

The risk of developing sleep apnea also increases after menopause.

More time spent on unpaid labor

A 2013 study found that women spent less time in the workforce and more time on unpaid labor, which includes things like family caregiving and housework.

Employment is associated with less sleep, so being out of the workforce allows women to get more sleep. On the flip side, though, women are more likely to have their sleep interrupted for caregiving.

Different views on sleep

Some experts suggest that men and women may have different views on sleep, which could partly explain differing sleep needs.

Women, according to this line of thought, tend to engage in less risk-taking behaviors than men and are more likely to attend to their health. For example, they might be more likely to make time for sleep with an earlier bedtime or set aside time for a nap.

Your sleep needs, like your body, change as you age due to factors like hormones, lifestyle habits, and medical conditions.

These are general sleep guidelines for different age groups, regardless of sex and gender, according to the CDC:

  • birth to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours
  • 4 to 11 months: 12 to 16 hours
  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours
  • 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours
  • 18 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours

A good night’s sleep can make all the difference when it comes to your mood, energy levels, and productivity. It can also help keep your body healthy and better able to fight off illness.

Here are some tips to help you get some quality shut-eye (aka improving your sleep hygiene), regardless of sex or gender:

  • Have a consistent sleep and wake-up time. This means going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Yep, weekends too.
  • Set up a good sleep environment. An ideal sleep environment encourages better sleep. You can up your sleep environment by making sure your room is quiet, dark, and comfortable with things like blackout blinds, bedding, and a comfortable mattress.
  • Mind what you eat and drink before bed. Going to bed full or hopped up on caffeine can result in poor sleep. Try not to eat for at least 3 hours before bed, and limit your caffeine intake to earlier in the day. Avoiding alcohol before bed’s a good idea, too.
  • Reduce blue light exposure before bed. Blue light messes with your circadian rhythm by tricking your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This can make it harder to fall asleep. Reduce your exposure to blue light at night by avoiding screen time, including TV, phones, and other devices for at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Do something relaxing before bed. Taking a hot bath or shower before bed has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and get more restful and deeper sleep. Some other popular suggestions are reading, deep breathing, and meditation.
  • Get some exercise. As long as you don’t work out right before bed, regular exercise can help you get to sleep more easily. It also lowers stress and anxiety levels, which can affect sleep.
  • Talk with your doctor. Underlying medical conditions and certain medications can contribute to poor sleep. Talk with your care team if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, or waking up tired after a night’s sleep.

Women tend to sleep a few more minutes per night than men, and may need that extra sleep for a variety of reasons. Regardless of your sex or gender, though, getting enough quality sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. A few lifestyle tweaks can help you get better sleep. If they don’t, it’s worth checking in with a healthcare professional to rule out an underlying condition that might be impacting your sleep.

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.

How many hours does a person need to sleep to get enough sleep

How many hours a day does an adult need to sleep to get enough sleep? What are sleep phases and what do their characteristics tell us? How does the duration of sleep depend on the age of a person, what is the danger of lack of sleep and is it possible to cope with insomnia without medication? We answer these and other questions in the material Forbes Life

The science of sleep

Mankind has always been interested in sleep. The starting point of the scientific study of the process of dreams can be considered 1928, when the German physiologist and psychiatrist Hans Berger first recorded an electroencephalogram (EEG) in a person during sleep and wakefulness. In the 1950s and 1960s, the phases of sleep were discovered, which became an impetus for the development of somnology.

In 2010, scientists from the UK and Italy conducted a large-scale study that covered 1.5 million people. Thus, a statistical pattern was established: in people who sleep less than six hours a day, the risk of premature death due to health problems increases by 12% compared to those who sleep eight hours. However, those who like to sleep more than nine hours a day, such risks increase to 30%. Experts noted that when a person sleeps for more than eight to nine hours, this is an occasion to pay attention to the state of the cardiovascular system.

At the same time, experts consider the assertion that all people need to sleep the same number of hours and go to bed strictly at a certain time, erroneous. “Some people need more sleep, some less. Someone is used to going to bed at 21:00, and someone at 0:00, – says a neurologist, assistant of the Department of Nervous Diseases and Neurosurgery of the First Moscow State Medical University named after I.M. Sechenova Polina Pchelina. – It’s determined genetically. On average, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep at night, although there are those in this age group who need six to six and a half hours of rest, or, conversely, 10. In people over 65, the need for sleep varies between seven and eight o’clock.” And the older a person becomes, the less sleep he needs, says Pchelina. “If a newborn needs to sleep until 17:00, then a student does not need more than 10-13. By the age of 18, sleep is normal for an adult: seven to nine hours, ”says the doctor.

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The dangers of lack of sleep and excessive sleep

During sleep, the brain is cleared of toxins and accumulated metabolic waste, the excess of which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease – a type of dementia (acquired dementia), a condition in which the brain ceases to perform its functions properly. “However, oversleeping can also affect our condition: when a person sleeps more than his norm, this may not guarantee him good health for the day. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep and oversleeping led to the risk of arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure and diabetes, ”says Pchelina.

If we talk about what time you need to fall asleep, then rather you need to follow an individual biorhythm. “The same bedtime for everyone is a harmful myth, because in the morning everyone needs to get up at different times,” says Pchelina. “It’s much better to find a time that works for you and stick to it regularly.” In other words, it is necessary to develop your own regimen, the doctor notes. “First of all, it will depend on how many hours you need to sleep before getting up for work or on business, as well as on the degree of your workload,” the neurologist believes.

At the same time, there is evidence that the ideal time to go to bed is 22:00-23:00. At this time, the level of the stress hormone cortisol decreases, and the level of melatonin (the sleep hormone), on the contrary, begins to rise. According to statistics, 76% of people who go to bed between 22:00 and 23:00 feel alert and rested in the morning.

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Sleep phases

If a person is a “night owl” and is used to going to bed after midnight, he will not be able to fall asleep at the recommended time. In this case, you should pay attention to sleep cycles and their phases. It is known that one complete sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. At the same time, it consists of four subcycles – phases, which, in turn, are divided into three stages. In REM sleep, which was discovered by American neurophysiologists Nathaniel Kleitman and Eugene Aserinsky from the University of Chicago in 1953, for example, a person sees dreams.

Usually, in a healthy person, sleep begins with the first stage, lasting 5-10 minutes – this is the so-called phase of non-REM sleep. Then comes the second stage, lasting about 20 minutes. The third and fourth stages account for about 30-45 minutes more. After that, the person returns to the second stage of non-REM sleep, but from there he switches to the first phase of REM sleep, which lasts about five minutes. Such a sequence is called a cycle. The cycles are repeated, while the duration of non-REM sleep decreases with each subsequent cycle, and the phase of REM sleep, on the contrary, increases. “As we move from the first stage of slow-wave sleep to the third, the activity of the body decreases: the work of the cardiovascular system slows down, the perception of external information almost completely stops, and the activity of the brain decreases,” Pchelina comments. – In the phase of REM sleep, on the contrary, sensitivity to external signals increases – therefore, it is easiest to wake up from this phase. The role of REM sleep for the body is still not well understood. But neurophysiologists say that at this time, the skills acquired during the day are consolidated and the emotional aspects of information are processed.

In order to feel good, and not to walk around broken all day, it is worth waking up only after a completely completed cycle, that is, sleep time should be a multiple of 90 minutes, for example, six, seven and a half or nine hours.

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Sleep at work for productivity

The alternation of wakefulness and sleep in humans occurs cyclically, with a period of approximately 24 hours, and this is largely due to the natural cycle of light. That is, with the onset of the dark time of the day, the brain gives signals to the body that it is time to sleep. At the same time, there is daytime sleep. But how necessary and useful is it?

According to neuropathologist Pchelina, sleep during the day, first of all, is necessary for those who are forced to work night shifts. “For everyone else, a 15-20-minute daytime sleep will not hurt, but, on the contrary, will add a feeling of cheerfulness for two to three hours. However, for patients with insomnia, I do not recommend sleeping during the day until they establish a regimen, ”says the doctor.

The health and productivity benefits of daytime sleep have long been noted in Japan. Local employers encourage daytime naps among their employees, and the phenomenon even has its own name – inemuri (“practice of daytime sleep at work”). At the same time, there is a main rule – social involvement. If, for example, a person decides to sleep during a meeting, he should do it in such a way that the effect of involvement in the work process is created. Inemuri is often referred to as the Japanese art of sleeping. Its appearance is associated with the economic boom 1980s. Then the life of the Japanese became more dynamic, people worked hard, studied and had fun. There was practically no time for sleep. And so the practice of short daytime sleep – 15-30 minutes – was born.

Also in Japan, they came up with special sleep capsules – comfortable soundproof booths for sleeping. This idea was adopted by Europe and in the mid-2000s, the first Metronaps sleep pods appeared at the headquarters of Google, Procter & Gamble and Virgin Atlantic, as well as at the international airports of London and Vancouver. Russian employers also began to encourage sleep at the workplace.

Dr Nerina Ramlahan of the University of Leeds says short naps reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and help overcome depression and other side effects of sleep deprivation that are equivalent to severe alcohol intoxication. According to researchers at the Rotterdam School of Management, “quiet time” saves companies billions because employees become more productive after it.

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Disturbances of the rest regime

According to Pchelina, unbalanced sleep provokes the appearance of insomnia (insomnia) and disruption of the sleep-wake cycle. “This is dangerous with a deterioration in mood, a decrease in working capacity, rapid fatigue and an increased risk of cardiovascular dysfunctions,” the expert notes.

Pchelina identifies several types of sleep disorders that are most common in modern humans:

  • Hypersomnia (increased sleepiness): it is divided into several subtypes. The most studied variant is narcolepsy (an autoimmune nervous disease characterized by bouts of drowsiness and sudden falling asleep). Other species often develop as a result of mental illness. For example, depression. A sleep disorder of a mental nature does not pose a threat to health, but significantly impairs the quality of life of patients.
  • Breathing disorders during sleep: most often associated with impaired patency of the upper respiratory tract due to structural features of the oropharynx and larynx, for example, due to a deviated nasal septum. One of the negative factors is also being overweight. These symptoms are especially dangerous because they increase the risk of death from strokes and myocardial infarctions.
  • Sleep movement disorders: A very heterogeneous group, typically characterized by involuntary limb movements, twitches and seizures. Often seen in people with restless leg syndrome. The main cause of these disorders is a violation of the metabolism of the neurotransmitter dopamine (one of the so-called “happiness hormones”) in the brain. These diseases are not dangerous, but can make it difficult for patients to fall asleep and lead to frequent nocturnal awakenings.
  • Parasomnia (eg sleep paralysis or sleepwalking): the cause is still unknown. This is thought to be due to the delayed maturation of neural connections between sleep and wake centers in the brain.

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Like a bad dream

If you are not satisfied with the quality of sleep, you do not get enough sleep or, conversely, you cannot fall asleep for a long time, it makes sense to go to the doctor. Especially if you feel worse. “The main reason to visit a specialist is your personal feelings. There is no specific set of complaints,” says Pchelina.

The doctor specifies that the choice of therapy depends on the diagnosis. In some cases, this is surgical, hardware and drug treatment. However, the neurologist is trying to find a way to deal with patients’ insomnia without drugs. In such cases, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia comes to the rescue – a complex form of psychotherapy, which is based on a technique that allows you to identify and change habits associated with thinking or behavior. Many patients who come to CBT receive an explanation of the mechanisms that control sleep. “It also helps to cope with anxiety, which often prevents you from falling asleep,” Pchelina adds.

According to clinical and social psychologist Nikita Korzun, insomnia can be managed without medication. But among his patients there are many who have insomnia – a concomitant symptom of a disease, he notes. Often these are drug (and other) addictions that also cause sleep disturbances. In this case, specialists resort to medical treatment and psychological practices. “In some cases, insomnia is quite normal. For example, it is often observed during pregnancy. But if insomnia bothers you more than three times a week for a long time, then you should not postpone going to the doctor. In the case when physiological causes have not been identified, the root of the problem must be sought at the mental level, ”says the psychologist.

What happens to a person when he does not sleep for a long time:

  • on the first day there may be problems with memory and attention, the person becomes distracted.
  • the second or third day: physical fatigue appears, memory problems worsen, coordination is disturbed, problems with concentration arise, vision and concentration deteriorate.
  • on the fourth and fifth days, severe irritability occurs, sound and visual hallucinations appear, mental activity is disturbed, physiological disturbances occur in the temporal region of the cortex, which is responsible for speech function.
  • the sixth-seventh day without sleep is marked by a loss of a sense of reality, the same hallucinations (though they are becoming more and more realistic), a general disorder of the body occurs (all kinds of pain in the abdomen, muscles, migraines, etc. ), in humans a state of delirium sets in.

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Sleep and depression

Numerous clinical studies have shown a strong association between sleep disorders and depression. With depression at 80-9Insomnic (difficulty falling asleep) and hyperomnic (increased drowsiness) sleep disorders are observed in 0% of cases. When evaluating the data of an objective polysomnographic study, it can reach 100%.

It has also been shown that depression occurs in 20% of people with sleep disorders and only 1% of people without these problems. “In patients with depression, the production of the hormone melatonin by the pituitary gland, which regulates the circadian rhythm, as well as sleep and wakefulness patterns, is often reduced. This can contribute to the development of insomnia,” explains Korzun.

The psychologist notes that depression is a serious disease that can only be treated with medication and under the supervision of a specialist, since chemical changes occur in the brain. “At the same time, if we are talking about a situation where a person suffers from insomnia due to an increased level of stress, this does not require “tough” measures. I believe that it is important not to start your emotional state so that later it does not develop into serious diseases, ”explains the expert.

As Korzun notes, people who are depressed (as well as suffering from other mental disorders) often experience insomnia, sleepwalking (somnambulism), night terror (pavor nocturnus – a sleep disorder when a person wakes up not from an unpleasant or frightening dream, but from – due to the state of fear that occurs during sleep.0099 Forbes Life ), a nightmare (dreams), narcolepsy (numbness, when a person is immobilized for some time after waking up, or he has an attack of sudden falling asleep. Forbes Life ) and catalepsy (change in muscle tone, numbness).

More rarely, depression causes sleep apnea, a sleep disorder during which breathing changes. If measures are not taken in time, then a person may die from suffocation.

Doctors: Women should sleep an odd number of hours

Recent issue



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Recent issue


02.07 .2009 01:30


Doctors sound the alarm: people are sleeping less, which can lead to an epidemic of various diseases

Irina Vilkova

The stress from the global economic crisis has deprived people of sleep.

Recent studies have shown that with the onset of the crisis, many began to sleep 20 percent less than they should. And this despite the fact that since the middle of the last century, the average sleep time has already decreased by an hour and a half.

Doctors warn that massive chronic lack of sleep will lead to an epidemic of mental, cardiovascular and other diseases.

Don’t miss the arrival of insomnia

The French playwright Pierre Decoucelles said that “sleep is a rest from life.” But here’s the paradox: under the burden of problems, the opportunity to “take a break from life” is reduced to the limit. Insomnia sets in, and if you manage to fall asleep, then sleep in a stressful state is unproductive.

What threatens us with chronic lack of sleep?

– Due to lack of sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, endurance deteriorate.

– Irritability and depression appear.

– The risk of getting diabetes, obesity, stroke, and even suicide increases many times over.

– Lack of sleep leads to mental disorders, and the risk of suicide increases by more than 2 times even in people with initially healthy psyche.

Scientists attribute this to “damage to the mechanisms that regulate key aspects of our mental health. ” The adrenal glands, for example, begin to produce stress hormones in excess, as a result, a person starts up with a half-turn, gets upset for no reason, gets angry and annoyed over trifles – in a word, experiences stress that puts him on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The development of obesity in sleep deprivation is explained by the fact that more than half of the daily calorie intake of low-sleeping people is received between 9 pm and 6 am, when everything eaten goes straight into the subcutaneous tissue.

Lack of nighttime sleep results in a 20% drop in leptin, a hormone that stimulates metabolism and reduces hunger. At the same time, the concentration of ghrelin in the blood increases by the same 20 percent, which, on the contrary, exacerbates the appetite, which forces more and more portions of not always full-fledged food to be thrown into the stomach. Scientists say that reducing nightly sleep by 2 hours leads to overweight in 24 percent of women and 20 percent of men.

Even an hour’s lack of sleep increases the accumulation of calcium in the coronary vessels by 16 percent and leads to numerous cardiovascular diseases.

In a word, life expectancy and depreciation of the body directly depend on how effectively the body recovers during the night.

How much sleep do you need?

The ancient Romans taught: “Six hours of sleep is enough for both a young man and an old man. Give a lazy man seven, and don’t let anyone eight.”

However, not everything is so simple. It is known that Einstein slept for 12 hours, and Leonardo da Vinci only had one and a half, and then not at a time, but every 4 hours for 15 minutes. Everyone has their own norm. According to scientists, it ranges from 4 to 10 hours a day, and on average – 7-9. Moreover, according to experts, the weaker sex is recommended to sleep an odd number of hours (7 or 9), and the strong one – an even number (for example, 8).


How to Attract Morpheus

1 Go to bed before midnight. It is believed (and practice confirms this) that an hour of sleep before 24.00 is equal to two after. The best time to go to bed is 22.00.

2 Follow the rules. The habit of falling asleep and waking up at the same time stabilizes the biological rhythms of the body, reducing stress and preventing insomnia. Therefore, on weekends it is worth sticking to the same schedule.

3 Keep your bedroom well ventilated. The air in it should be clean and cool – from 16 to 20 degrees.

4 Shake off the weight of the past day. A leisurely walk in the fresh air, calm pleasant music or a favorite book (without an exciting plot, of course) helps to relieve tension. Scientists have found that reading reduces stress levels by 68 percent, music – by 61 percent, walking – by 42 percent.

5 Take a warm shower. It helps to relax, calm down, and clean skin breathes better.

6 Sleep on linen sheets. Italian scientists claim that in such a bed people fall asleep faster and sleep better.

7 Relieve muscle tension. Lying in bed, mentally relax all parts of the body, moving sequentially from the legs to the head.

8 Think positive things. Spray your bedroom with orange, myrrh, or cinnamon essential oil (1-2 drops per glass of water) to ward off heavy thoughts. You can put a foam mat moistened with an infusion of bird cherry or parsley fruits at the head.

9 Drink a glass of warm milk or water with a teaspoon of honey at night.

10 Sitting comfortably in bed, slowly write out in your mind the lying eight – the sign of infinity.

11 If you can’t sleep, pull back the covers and lie open until you feel chilly. Endure the cold as long as you can, and only then pull the blanket.


Are you getting enough sleep?

1. When the alarm rings, do you move the hands to a later time and sleep on?

2. Sometimes you don’t hear a call at all?

3. When you wake up, do you find it difficult to get out of bed?

4. Do you doze off in transport, at lectures and meetings?

5. Do you sleep longer than usual when you don’t have to go to work?

6. Do you lose your temper if your plans are ruined?

7. A glass of alcohol – and you carry?

8. Do you like to snooze during the day?

9. Do you acutely feel the fatigue accumulated during the week?

If you answered yes to at least 3 questions, you constantly do not get enough sleep.

Seven major “DO’s” to remember before bed:

DO NOT overeat at night. It is recommended to finish the last meal 3 hours before bedtime.

DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages. They may help you fall asleep faster, but the quality of sleep will deteriorate greatly.

DO NOT drink strong tea or coffee.

DO NOT work (especially mental) until late.

DO NOT sort things out.

DO NOT get carried away by TV and the Internet.

DO NOT take sleeping pills unless directed by a doctor.