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Women Need More Sleep Because Their Brains Work Harder, Study Finds

Women Need More Sleep Because Their Brains Work Harder, Study Finds

Finally! Research has proven that women need more sleep than men because they are smarter. It’s a scientific fact.

Ok… not exactly.

What research has been able to prove is that women have more complex brain activity than men.

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A new study from England’s Loughborough University reveals that women are multi-taskers, meaning they require higher amounts of brain activity and use more regions of the brain than men do, resulting in a greater overall need for sleep.

According to sleep expert and researcher John Horne:

“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself. The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.”

The study found that women need about 20 minutes more sleep than men per night. It went on to say that a man that has a mentally demanding job, one requiring lots of lateral thinking tasks and decision making, will need more sleep than the average male, though still not as much as a woman.

Women need more sleep than men because their brains are wired differently

Brain Picture

    So what’s the difference?

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    In a  2014 study, 949 people were tested and the results found that men’s brains had more connections within each brain hemisphere, whereas women’s brains had more connections between the two hemispheres.

    The findings showed that men are able to focus deeply on one task at a time, while the female brain was better at performing multiple functions simultaneously. This explains the “tunnel vision” in some men and superior multi-tasking ability in some women. Multi-tasking exerts more effort from the brain, which is why women need more sleep than men.

    According to Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos, the director of the Brain Science Centre at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center:

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    “Women’s brains are definitely different from men’s brains… What we have found is that women, in many different tasks, process information about five times faster than men, and use much less of their brain to do identical cognitive performance.”

    While that may seem like good news, the speed and efficiency of the female brain comes at a cost. Scientists say that it is more vulnerable to damage than the male brain, and if damaged the male brain can recover more quickly and more completely — making the daily recovery and repair process (aka sleep) extremely important.

    Featured photo credit: planetchopstick via flickr.com

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    Denise Hill

    Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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