sad science

New Report Shows Sleep Is Harder for Women, Primarily Single Moms, No Duh

I wish!
I wish! Photo: Inti St Clair/Corbis

If you’re a woman, this may be an all-too-familiar scene: You, awake. The trouble women have falling and staying asleep has been well-documented in reports and, in all likelihood, your personal life, and the possible reasons — hormones, maybe some sort of period thing?, higher levels of stress, pregnancy, etc. — are often close to if not entirely inescapable. Well, good news! Just kidding: According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics, it is still true that women have a harder time sleeping than men, especially single mothers. Okay. Good morning!

The study analyzed sleep-habit data from 44,000 adults in the U.S., recorded between 2013 and 2014, and found 43 percent of single parents got fewer than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, compared to 33 percent in families with two parents, and 31 percent for those without children.

Among them, women fared the worst: “They reported having more trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling unrested,” said Colleen Nugent, a statistician with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (very long title) who co-authored the study. “We found that women had poorer quality sleep across the board, regardless of whether they had children.”

According to the study, almost one-quarter of single moms “reported having trouble falling asleep four or more times in the previous week,” one-fifth of women without children reported chronic insomnia, and over half of single moms reported waking up feeling unrested (compared with 47 percent of partnered women, and 39 percent of women without children).

Why do women have a harder time falling asleep? Experts have a few theories, and this nonexpert has one of her own: We live in an unfair world full of a bunch of bullshit.

Sleep Harder for Women, Primarily Single Moms