Study Shows Sleep Deprivation makes Girls Anxiety Worse

A person suffers from anxiety disorders when they experience strong and lasting anxiety unrelated to any real danger or threat, which interferes with their normal functioning and daily activities. When it comes to the consequences of a bad night’s sleep, women and men are not on the same footing.  According to a recent study, women would suffer the most from it, showing symptoms such as daytime sleepiness. 

If we sleep poorly, our ability to handle emotions decreases and we become more impulsive. Lack of sleep reduces attention and adaptability and therefore increases the risk that we, for example, will cause a traffic accident “, said Christian Benedict, associate professor of neuroscience at Uppsala University

According to specialists at a sleep clinic in Coolangatta in Australia, these repercussions are greater in women than in men. Their study affirms that sleep disorders affect people differently depending on their gender. Thus, women would be more frequently exposed and more likely to present more severe symptoms of depression and daytime sleepiness.

They would also have greater difficulty in demonstrating concentration and memory due to this fatigue. “We found that women were more likely to have trouble sleeping associated with daytime sleepiness. They were also more likely to feel more affected by the burden of their symptoms,” says Dr John Malouf, co-author of the study. Christian Benedict has recently completed the research project Relationship between sleep, profession, and health. There, for example, it has been seen that those who have slept half the night cope with stressful situations worse than those who have slept all night. Those who slept less lost a tenth of the information when they had to work with complicated math calculations and difficult words

Lack of sleep is not good for our ability to perform and judge. 30–40 per cent of all adults do not get up in the 7-8 hours of sleep per night that is recommended for us to feel rested. This means that there is a sleep problem, says Christian Benedict.

Another part of the project looked at how our working memory, which is important for problem-solving, for example, is affected by lack of sleep. It turned out there was a difference depending on gender. The working memory of the women in the study was worsened by lack of sleep, but they did not think that there had been any deterioration. The men’s working memory was not affected. The tests were done in the morning and therefore say nothing about what it looks like at other times of the day.

Extra attention should be given to young women who often face challenges where they both have to deal with a high working memory load in combination with lack of sleep.

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