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Why women are grumpy after a bad night's sleep

Poor sleep is worse for women than for men. Seems like bad sleep makes their entire system go haywire.

29 March, 2008

Insufficient sleep is bad for all – men, women and children – but researchers have woken up to the fact that women who are deprived of a good night’s sleep feel more grouchy than men do.

A new study conducted by a team of researchers at Duke University, North Carolina, the United States, also shows that poor sleep adversely affects women’s overall health more severely than it does men. The ill-effects of poor sleep in women, researchers found, are so striking that they could increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Women who suffered from poor sleep were found to have higher levels of insulin and glucose – which are associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These women also had higher levels of fibrinogen, a clotting agent that is linked to stroke.

In the study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers examined 210 middle-aged men and women who were apparently healthy and without any history of sleep disorders. However, 40% of them were categorized as “poor sleepers” after filling in a questionnaire.

Blood was taken from the volunteers. The psychological condition of the volunteers was also analyzed. The result: women who did not sleep well were found to suffer from more anger, depression and other disorders than did men.

Dr Edward Suarez, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, North Carolina, was quoted by the British newspaper Telegraph as saying: “For women, poor sleep is associated with high levels of psychological distress, and feelings of hostility, depression and anger. These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.” 





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