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Women who drink get less sleep than their male counterparts

We already know that insomnia is more prevalent in women than men; now a new study tells us that women who drink are more likely to suffer with sleeping problems than male drinkers.

The study found that women who drank alcohol in quantities high enough to get drunk got around 20 minutes less sleep than those who drank caffeine-free cola.

Now, that may not sound like a lot of sleep loss, but it's the equivalent of 4% of your total sleep time if you're aiming for eight hours of sleep each night. It's especially relevant as a 2010 study found that women need 20 minutes more sleep than men.

So why are women more susceptible to sleep disruption after drinking alcohol? Apparently it's down to the fact that women metabolize alcohol differently - because women tend to have more body fat and less body water than men, they tend to end up with a higher breath-alcohol level even after drinking the same quanities as men.

On the plus side, female bodies process alcohol quicker than male bodies - so at least the hangover might not be quite so bad the following day. Enough to make up for that loss of 20 minutes?

Source: MSNBC

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Last updated: April 6, 2011

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    April 6, 2011, 11:49 pm

    In my entire life I have been drunk only three times in my life: once, during a vac at school, where I hadn’t the funds to leave, where I was madly dizzy forever, but no hangover.

    The second, when I’d had a bad enough day, I didn’t realize until very late, that while I’d been cooking, I’d downed an entire bottle of white wine. It left more quickly than it entered, and I had no hangover the next morning.

    Within the same calendar year, I was prepping for a birthday party of a favorite teacher from my college days (we happened to live about two blocks away by bicycle route), and I kept sipping champagne, without any food to balance it out. Due to miscommunication, I wasn’t certain of my welcome, and I left, a bit woozy. Can’t recall if I got any food down me, but again, it left more quickly than it entered, and I had no hangover the next morning. Her mother attributed my lack to youth, but I corrected her.

    I really don’t tend to drink more than a glass or two of wine on a social occasion, more than a sip per stop at wine tasting routes, and if all I have to do is walk to where I’m sleeping, I might have a cocktail/aperitif, a glass or two of wine, and a liqueur or dessert wine after. I think the night of my 40th birthday celebration (about six months after, due to the imminent birth of my son on the Day Itself), I drank rather more: two tulips of champagne while choosing the wine and noshing on appetizers, about half the bottle of a CabSauv (was it a Jordan or a Heitz Martha’s Vineyard? Both were good that year) bottled the year I turned 21, and a complimentary glass of NV port. The CabSauv was decanted expertly, the sommelier tipped with a glass of it, and it was worth every penny. It cost more than the cost of our two dinners, put together, but oh, were we in heaven. I think it was one of The Hobbit’s (City of Orange, CA) three-hour dinners. There’s an intermission before dessert, out on their patio, which I wish had night-blooming scented flowers throughout, but alas, no.

    When we’ve had wine that good, which is not often (once every five years or so?), everything slows down to allow full enjoyment. A buzz, maybe, but no more than that.

    Wine makes me drowsy, but doesn’t necessarily lead to sleep. Beer I loathe (hops–ick!), and distilled spirits neither make me drowsy nor keep me awake.