Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a range of serious health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. This study shows that women are likely to be more susceptible to these diseases. Researchers from Duke University surveyed 210 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 about how much they sleep and the quality of it. They then assessed whether gender moderates the relation of subjective sleep and sleep-related symptoms such as inflammation, coagulation, insulin resistance, psychosocial distress and factors associated with increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
The researchers found that issues with falling asleep and staying asleep with not getting enough sleep on a regular basis meant that a greater psychological and physiological toll on women relative to men. The more trouble women had with sleeping, the higher their BMIs.
It comes down to the sex hormone testosterone which has been found to protect the body’s cells from inflammation and may also protect the body from sleep deprivation and stress. Because we have more estrogen and progesterone and less testerone than men, this means women are more inclined to get hungrier, or hangrier, than men.
“Higher testosterone is associated with lower CRP and IL-6 [hormonal markers of inflammation in the blood stream], greater insulin sensitivity and lower BMI,” the researchers write in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. “It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that higher testosterone levels blunt the health damaging consequences of poor sleep in men.”
So here we go, sleep might be the solution to a lot of your problems.
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