How Sleep Is Different for Men and Women

How Sleep Is Different for Men and Women

The sleep and wake cycles for men and women vary for a number of reasons including: sex, sleep deprivation, and a trend for differences due to gender. The sleep wake cycle is governed by the hypothalamus, the circadian rhythm. This affects the body differently in men and women.

In men, the cycle makes men more alert in the evening, but stalls recovery due to sleep deprivation.

In women, the cycle trends towards morning alertness, and faster recovery of sleep deprivation.

This trend causes the men and women to have opposing degrees of energy levels which affect sex, activity levels, and preferences on appropriate sleep and wake times. This rhythm when allowed to naturally occur, without the aid of alarm clocks, provides evidence that men have higher levels of energy at night, while women have higher levels in the morning.

This information could be used to increase job performance by placing workers in time slots that allow for peak performance. The study states that women are more prone to injury while on the job during the evening shifts. This information would be relevant to decreasing the risks of workplace injuries.

The good news is that the sleep wake cycle can be retrained to benefit both genders.

Key Points:

  • 1Regular waking and bed times keep your circadian rhythm functioning optimally.
  • 2Men’s circadian cycle is 6 minutes longer making them less tired in the evening.
  • 3Men handle sleep deprivation worse than women and have a longer recovery period.
  • 4Men are more likely to be night owls while women or more likely to be early birds and awaken early.


On the other hand, women’s shorter cycles mean they are more likely to have a dip in energy at night, which could help explain why there’s an increased risk of work-related injuries in female shift workers.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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