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Why women need more sleep

world Updated: Jan 27, 2010 00:35 IST

Women need more sleep than men — around 20 minutes of more sleep on an average — owing to their busy and multi-tasking brain, according to a new research by a British sleep expert.

“Women need 20 minutes more shut-eye than the average man. This is because women’s brains are wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need is slightly greater,” said Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre , Loughborough University, UK.

Pointing out that one of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself, Horne said, “During deep sleep, the cortex — part of the brain responsible for thought memory, language — disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode. The more a person uses his brain during the day, the more sleep he needs at night, Horne said adding, “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. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”

“A man who has a complex job that involves decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male, though probably not as much as a woman," he told the Daily Mail.