If you’ve ever struggled to get to sleep, or stay slumbering, because of your significant other’s disruptive sleep habits, you’re not alone. In fact, new research has found that women are losing as much as three hours a night because of their male partners.
According to the British survey, which examined 2,000 couples, the average woman estimates that she sleeps approximately three hours less than her partner every night, equalling a shocking 45 days per year.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there, with the research also finding that half the women reported feeling constantly sleep-deprived and a third claimed to have a “broken night’s sleep” each night, a far cry from the two in 10 men in the study reported claiming the same. It should be noted that the survey did not appear to examine any same-sex or non-binary couples.
As for what’s causing the ‘gender sleep gap’ for straight women? Their partner’s persistent snoring.
Based on the findings, almost one quarter of the women (22%) claimed their partner’s snoring was the leading cause of their interrupted sleep and 14% stated that it is always them who has to deal with their children when they wake in the night, while their male partners remained asleep.
In addition to frustrations with their partner’s bedtime habits, the study also found a few other reasons behind women’s collective lack of sleep, including a difference in biology.
“It makes sense that men and women have different sleep needs—we are in some ways very different,” said Bensons for Beds sleep expert, Stephanie Romiszewski.
“What with hormonal changes that come with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, the biological differences alone are huge. With this in mind, it’s really helpful for us to get into a few good sleep habits that can help get us through.”
Sadly, the study also found that the severe sleep loss has a widespread impact on women with many stating that they felt unattractive if they hadn’t slept properly while others reported feelings of depression and an inability to maintain their diet while sleep-deprived. Long-term, achronic lack of sleep has also been linked to a host of health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
As far as solutions go, separate beds might be the best option. Although seemingly unconventional, the survey also discovered that three out of five British couples sleep in separate rooms, with 50% attributing it to one partner’s snoring, and nearly two out of five saying that this method resulted in more sleep and fewer arguments.