Currently, I am nursing a sore neck thanks to tossing and turning all night long and never quite being able to get comfortable. Why, do you ask? Because I sleep a man. Plain and simple.
And as much as I love that man and I want to share my bed with him every night until death do we part, I have to come to the terms with the fact that we may never agree on the best way or environment for sleep. Turns out there is a reason for that. Here are six ways men and women differ when it comes to catching some z’s:
1. We get tired sooner
Our circadian rhythm, or the system telling us when to hit the hay, starts to alert us that we need to wind down earlier in the night than a men does. Typically, two hours sooner to be exact. So next time you are yawning at dinner time, just know you are not alone.
2. Men simply can’t fall asleep early
If your man is like mine, he tosses all over the bed for what seems like ages before he finally settles down. That is because his sleep cues have not kicked in yet.
3. We are up before the rooster crows
Thanks to that circadian rhythm that we talked about earlier, we are ready to wake up about two hours earlier than men, too. It does not matter how many times we hit snooze, we are just wired to be alert earlier than men.
4. Men are better at sleeping past the alarm
Since men are not ready for bed until later than women, their bodies tell them they need to make up for the difference by sleeping in come morning. Take advantage of the alone time and have a quiet cup of coffee.
5. They dream more than we do
Most dreaming occurs during our REM phase or the deepest part of our sleep cycle, and women do not spend as much time in that blissful state as men do (they get all the luck!) which means we do not dream as much as they do.
A lot of this is thanks to our menstrual cycles, which cause our body to release less melatonin than normal leading to less sleep during the second half of our cycle. Just another reason to hate Aunt Flow.
6. We get cold feet
Turns out another fun fact for women is that the nerves controlling blood flow to our hands and feet are more sensitive than a man’s. This leads to freezing feet when our circadian rhythm signals for a drop in our body temperature, which then signals our blood vessels to constrict and slow down the flow of blood to our hands and feet.
Bottom line: our feet get really really cold. And this is just another reason why we find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
So, the next time that your sweetheart complains about you hogging the covers or that he has had a hard time sleeping lately, tell him to suck it up because we are genetically wired this way and he has no idea what it is like to take a walk in our shoes. Or rather, a night on our pillow. Sweet dreams, ladies. I hope you defy the odds and have the best night’s sleep ever.