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Study: Sleep disorders affect men, women differently

Research shows women are more significantly affected by lack of sleep and sleep disorders compared to men.

By Amy Wallace
Study: Sleep disorders affect men, women differently
Study shows women experience significantly worse effects from sleep disturbances and disorders compared to men. Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

May 22 (UPI) -- Australian researchers found in a recent study that women are more likely to experience severe symptoms of depression and tiredness from sleep disorders than men.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, included 744 participants who received care for sleep disorders from seven private general practices in Australia between April 2013 and January 2015, finding women are more significantly impacted by sleep disorders than men.

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"We found that females were more likely to have sleeping disorders associated with daytime sleepiness," Dr. John Malouf, founder of SleepGP, said in a press release. "Females were also likely to feel more affected by the burden of their symptoms."

Participants completed sleep-related questionnaires such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Snoring Severity Scale and the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire.

Researchers from the SleepGP sleep clinic in Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia, found that women were more likely to have more severe symptoms of depression, trouble sleeping at night and excessive daytime sleepiness compared to men.

Men were found to snore more than women, forcing bed partners into separate bedrooms. Women also had a higher degree of difficulty concentrating and remembering things because of sleepiness or tiredness than men.

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"What was surprising about the results was that while men and women tended to present at a similar age, their symptoms and the effect on their lives differed markedly," said Allegra Boccabella, a research associate at SleepGP. "We didn't expect there to be differences across the board in terms of the different aspects of people's lives."

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