Why do women sleep worse than men?

It looks like women are doomed to sleep badly. Hormonal fluctuations, children and snoring partners are just three of the causes.

No cliché: women sleep worse

The woman stares at the ceiling, brooding, while the loved one snores to herself. She sits wide awake on the plane while he dreams deeply and firmly of vacation in the next seat. When the baby cries, mom jumps up while dad doesn't notice anything. Everything just clichés?

No, women sleep worse than men, studies have shown. According to a survey by the University of Gießen, around one in four women has problems sleeping, and one in eight for men. Young women usually sleep well, and sleep disorders increase from the middle of life.

"Men can fall asleep almost anywhere"

"Women sleep longer, are more likely to have trouble falling asleep and generally suffer from sleep disorders more often," said sleep researcher Jürgen Zulley from the University of Regensburg of the "Zeit."

The stupid thing: If you lie awake and are annoyed that you cannot sleep, it is even harder to fall asleep. A vicious circle.
But why do women suffer from sleep disorders more often than men? The German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine eV (DGSM) and sleep researchers have identified several reasons for the lack of sleep in women:

Sleep disorders in women: the causes ...

  • Stress! Job, man, children, parents, me - and get everything under one roof: women often suffer more than men from the multiple stress of family and work.
  • Menstrual sleep disorders: The hormonal fluctuations during the cycle cause sleep problems, especially at the beginning of menstruation.
  • Pregnancies: Especially in the last third of pregnancy, the sleeping quality of the mother-to-be often deteriorates significantly.
  • Children: After pregnancy, it gets worse - nothing is more sleep-consuming than a baby who wants to be looked after around the clock and a toddler who often wakes up.
  • When the children finally sleep through, the mother usually keeps her light sleep.
  • Menopause: Now sleep is becoming even easier and more fragmented. Hot flashes, depressed moods, and sleep apnea all contribute to this. At this stage in life, 54 percent of women complain of a lack of sleep.
  • Anxiety and depression cause sleep disorders - and vice versa! Doctors diagnose depression in women about twice as often as in men.
  • Noise: The partner snores (and rolls around in bed).
  • Nocturnal eating constraint: Some women wake up and cannot go back to sleep until they have eaten something.

... and what we can do about it

  • Exercise regularly (at least four hours before bedtime)
  • Maintain a regular daily schedule and a regular bedtime
  • Practice a relaxing sleep ritual (read, bathe, meditate)
  • Switch off devices early (TV, smartphone)
  • Keep bedroom dark and cool
  • Leave out or reduce caffeine and alcohol in the evening - even small amounts can be stimulating
  • If nothing helps: please see a doctor!
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