It’s a common occurrence. One spouse goes to bed early while the other stays up late working, playing or watching TV. The night owl spouse simply needs less sleep. Frequently that night owl is the husband, and new research is showing that there’s a reason. Women need more sleep because their brains simply do more.
According to the new research, conducted at the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in the UK, women on average need 20 minutes more sleep per night than men. They say that’s because women’s brains do more during the day.
The study was carried out on a sample set of 210 middle-aged men and women. It found that women’s brains are more wired for multi-tasking. Since they do more things at once than men, they actually use more of their brain than men. Because of that, they have a higher need for sleep. The research did find, however, that men who have jobs that require more decision-making and “lateral thinking” are more likely to need more sleep as well.