American Women Are Getting More Sleep Than Men

Women get an average of 20 more minutes of sleep nightly, according to a study by Jawbone.

It's hardly news that most people aren't logging enough sleep time. But new data indicate that men get consistently less shut-eye than women.

An analysis by wearable tech company Jawbone found that women in the U.S. sleep an average of 20 minutes more than men throughout their lifetime.

This gender gap is largest from the teenage years to the mid-40s, and it narrows a bit as people grow older -- but American women at any age are still sleeping more. Ladies in their early 50s get just under seven hours of sleep, a whole 14 minutes longer than men in the same age set. Men in their early 20s get six hours and 57 minutes, which is 23 fewer minutes than women. By the time people hit 70, women are getting only nine more minutes in dreamland.

The same trend plays out in countries across the world. Data for Canadians, Australians and Europeans reveal that women are snoozing roughly 20 minutes longer than men. In Asia, though, men are sleeping a bit longer in old age: Japanese men sleep around 16 minutes longer than women, while Chinese men get seven more minutes.

Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for adults.

Some research has suggested that women sleep longer because they multitask and expend more brain power during the day. Though in other studies, men have reported being more satisfied with their sleep than women despite sleeping less.

Of course, wearables like Jawbone and Fitbit trackers don't provide a definitive picture of sleep. Sure, they count the minutes when you're in deep slumber, but the numbers don't translate into the quality of that sleep.

As Ying-Hui Fui, a sleep scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, pointed out in a recent Reddit AMA, the devices on your wrist can't measure your brain's electrical activity. "You can use Fitbit or whatever to measure your sleep duration, but if you don't feel good, it still has no benefit to help you with your sleep," Fui said. 


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