Women Suffer Worse Sleep Disorder Side Effects Than Men

Females are more sensitive to snoring, have a harder time falling asleep at night, and experience excessive tiredness and difficulty concentrating the following day. And that’s not even half of it, scientists say.

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Woman Yawning in Bed
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Not only do sleep disorders affect more women than men, according to the National Sleep Foundation, difficulty falling and staying asleep also seems to take a bigger toll with longer-lasting negative side effects, according to research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 

In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Australian researchers analyzed data from nearly 750 Australian men and women who sought medical help for their sleep issues between April 2013 and January 2015. The patients filled out questionnaires about their sleep and overall health—like whether they had trouble falling asleep at night, if they felt overly tired the next day, and if their bed partner snores. 

"We found that females were more likely to have sleep disorders associated with daytime sleepiness," study co-author Dr. John Malouf said in a press release. "Females were also likely to feel more affected by the burden of their symptoms."

Specifically, here's where women suffered the most:

  • Nearly 50% of women, compared to 27% of men, struggled to fall asleep at night;
  • 49% of women had sleep disturbances that spurred daytime sleepiness, as opposed to 37% of men;
  • 77% of women felt excessively tired, whereas only 66% of men suffered the same degree of sleepiness;
  • 89% of women, compared with 74% of men, had trouble concentrating;
  • 80% of women experienced memory problems, whereas only 58% of men experienced this side effect; and
  • 63% of men revealed their snoring kept their partner awake at night so much that they had to leave the room, compared to 54% of women—hinting snoring impacted females more.

While researchers admit more research needs to be done to reveal the underlying causes for each scenario, they allude to previous studies which suggest differences in hormones, physiology, and anatomy can also come into play. It's also possible men have a higher tolerance to snoring, the researchers say.

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