women sleep
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Researchers at Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre in Leicestershire, England say women need more sleep than men because their brains are more complex.

"Women's brains are wired differently ... so their sleep need will be slightly greater," says Professor Jim Horne, the director of the Sleep Research Centre. '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."

Women around the world corroborated Horne's findings.

The professor also notes that poor sleep affects those with two X chromosomes more.

"For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger," he says. "In contrast, these feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men."

These new findings corroborate research that was completed in 2013 at Duke University in North Carolina where scientists found that women suffer more than men, both mentally and physically, if they are forced to skimp on their sleep.

As well as a higher risk of heart disease, depression and psychological problems, sleep-deprived women have extra clotting factors in their blood, which can lead to a stroke.

They also have higher inflammation markers, which indicate developing health problems.

As inflammation markers are also linked to pain, sleep expert Dr Michael Breus explained that women can literally be in more pain when they wake up.

By contrast, the state of a man's health does not appear to be closely linked to how much they sleep.

In the study, men showed no increased risk of developing the ailments that affect women when they are sleep-deprived.

"We found that women had more depression, women had more anger, and women had more hostility early in the morning," said Dr Breus.