Ladies, if you need an excuse for a lie-in this weekend, we have just the ticket!
Research has proven that women need more sleep than men, because our brains are more complex.
Scientists have found that women need around 20 minutes more sleep per night than men. This is due to the fact that the female brain works harder during the day.
The study was carried out on a sample set of 210 middle-aged men and women.
“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself,” said Jim Horne, a sleep neuroscientist and former director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University.
“During deep sleep, the cortex — the part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language and so on – disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode.”
Prof Horn said the amount of sleep was necessitated by the complexity and intensity of brain activity during the day.
He said: “The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.
“Women tend to multi-task — they do lots at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.
“The average is 20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this.”
However, he said men who have complex jobs which involve a lot of “decision-making and lateral thinking” are also likely to need more sleep than the average male.
The study also found that poor sleep among women was linked to a number of side effects. Increased levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger were all found in women who slept poorly, but not men.