Do Men and Women Sleep Differently?

couple hugs lies on bed while man kissing on partner forehead
by Beatrix Schmidt

Do men and women approach sleep differently?

This is quite a fascinating topic. Each and every one of us sleep a little differently – but I love the topic of gender differences in sleep.

I see these differences sometimes when I work with couples.

We can help each other when we understand and honour those differences

I feel it’s important to say that today’s topic is more of a fun one for me. I’m basing this on what I’ve observed with my sleep coaching clients over the years. What I don’t want to do is put you into a box based on your gender.

With that said, there are some key differences which I think you will perhaps recognise from your own life.

Hormones and sleep

Starting with women, we already know that our menstrual cycle affects our 24 hours over each day of the month. Whether we like it or not, our hormones will trigger emotional changes that can affect how we feel – mentally and physically.

Whereas with men, male hormones create different changes as men age.

Emotions and behaviour

I don’t want to suggest that one gender is more emotional in their behaviour than the other. In fact, I’d say that overall, the differences I see in emotions and behaviour have more to do with personality than with gender.

But to generalize for a moment, when it comes to my male clients, their emotions tend to be quite hidden. This can mean they are not as in touch with their feelings.

Do consider that if you are not processing your emotions then they can and will keep you awake at night.

Perception and worry

Again, this is a generalization so may not apply to you. But something I see often in my clients is that men tend not to overthink as they go to bed, causing themselves to lay awake and worry in the same way that women often do.

A common mental pattern I see in women is to begin mentally rehearsing what happened during the day, at work for example, and then worrying about possible outcomes.

Of course, this is a big reason for poor sleep. I’ve observed that generally, men tend to be more pragmatic and switch off for sleep.

I’m sharing this because perhaps you are the pragmatic one in your relationship, and perhaps your partner is more of a worrier. Understanding what is going on for them mentally means that you can better support them.

How do these things play out in your life? Do leave me a comment below if you’d like to share how you approach sleep, and if you’ve noticed gender differences too.

To learn more about sleep see: The 10 Day Sleep Challenge

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