Men & Women Face Different Sleep Problems

Men & Women Face Different Sleep Problems

While women and men both face sleep problems, the way in which they struggle to get a good night’s sleep is considerably different. They may be diagnosed similarly for their sleep problems, and they may experience similar results from poor sleep (daily sleepiness, frequent sickness, more health problems, etc.). However, women and men deal with a much different set of sleep problems based on their genders.

Women are more likely to have a hard time falling asleep at night. After they are asleep, they are more likely to toss and turn throughout the night and experience nighttime waking where they are unable to fall back asleep. Women also have a faster circadian rhythm, meaning that they are ready for bed earlier at night and they naturally wake up earlier in the morning. Along with the bouts of insomnia that women so often face, the faster circadian rhythm is often linked to estrogen levels in women. Estrogen generally shortens sleep cycles, making women wake up earlier and more frequently.

Although some men do suffer from insomnia, they are more likely to experience sleep problems in the form of sleep apnea. This is likely due to anatomical differences, as men generally carry more fat around their necks that women, which is a huge contributing factor to sleep apnea. Only 1 out of 6 women suffer from sleep problems that are associated with breathing issues (but only 1 in 10 is diagnosed), while 1 out of 3 men suffer from breathing-related sleep issues. Men generally have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep, partially related to hormones. Testosterone generally lengthens the sleep cycle, allowing men to stay asleep longer and wake less frequently.

As you can clearly see, men and women suffer from very different sleep problems. However, both genders can utilize some sleep tips that experts claim will help regulate sleep patterns and resolve some sleep problems. Going to bed at the same time every night will help all individuals fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer. Additionally, eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco and keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and free from electronics will help lessen sleep problems a great deal.




  • “Sleep Problems Differ for Men and Women” (CBS News)
  • “He Slept, She Slept: Sex Differences in Sleep” (Web MD)

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