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It Turns Out Women Really Do Have More Trouble Sleeping Than Men

It doesn't get much worse than tossing and turning all night while your boyfriend sleeps soundly next to you.

This scenario (which breeds a lot of jealousy and resentment, in my experience) isn't an uncommon one.

According to research, men sleep better than women do.

In a study conducted out of the University of Cambridge, despite spending more time in bed, only 39.6 percent of female participants said they never had hard times falling asleep. On the other hand, 63.3 percent of men said they never struggled with sleep.

So, what gives? Hormones.

All month long, levels of estrogen and progesterone change in women.

Sleep expert Dianne Augelli explained to New York magazine,

Estrogen works on several different neurotransmitter pathways that may have an impact on the regulation of sleep, and progesterone can have a hypnotic property. Fluctuations in these hormones may have an effect on the circadian rhythm.

So, if you notice you have an easier time sleeping during some weeks of the month and not others, it could have to do with the rising and dipping levels of your hormones.

To make matters even more unfair, research found women are more sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation than men. While women suffer emotionally and physically after restless nights, testosterone levels rise in men after nights of poor sleep and keep their stress hormones under control.

So, while it's easy for guys to shrug off nights of bad sleep, lying in bed wide awake after getting little sleep can be really stressful for women as they anticipate the long, rough days ahead.

Yep, it's a cold, cruel world out there. Here's to hoping you sleep well tonight!

Citations: Self-reported sleep patterns in a British population cohort (Sleep Medicine), Women Spend A Longer Time In Bed, But Get Less Sleep Than Men: Study (Huffington Post), Why Do Women Have a Harder Time Sleeping Than Men? (New York magazine), Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men? (Shape)