Rebecca Kamm

Poking a stick at ladies' issues, pop culture, and other cutting-edge curiosities.

Rebecca Kamm: Women wake up grumpier than men

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Women are more likely to wake up grumpy. Photo / Thinkstock
Women are more likely to wake up grumpy. Photo / Thinkstock

Hit the pillow, women! Today in Scientists Are Running Out Of Ideas Fast, a new study from Duke University in the US has found you tend to wake up in a foul mood way more often than men do.

Reason being that everybody's short on sleep these days - busy modern life with many emails, etc - but women need more sleep just to feel generally okay and not shoot daggers from their tired squinty eyes.

"Women had more depression, anger, and hostility early in the mornings when they weren't getting the same amount of sleep than they normally get," said sleep expert Michael Breus to CBS.

"When they have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, that seems to have a dramatic effect."

One theory behind said Dramatic Effect is that women need to snooze longer to "regulate and keep their hormones in balance". (So the next time you want to snooze but buzz killers like work and life demand you exit your duvet-cocoon, stay in bed. Your hormones need naps - it's proven.)

Also, if you can't get enough sleep at night, Breus recommends daytime naps of either 25 or 90 minutes. BUT ONLY THAT MANY MINUTES, because if it's more or less you'll feel "even worse" and your hormones will start shooting out of your mouth like tiny rampant missiles.

But what about when you can't sleep - even though five seconds prior you were melting onto the floor with fatigue, and you've ingested more warm milk than is decent for anyone over the age of one?

Here are some ideas from the olden days, when sleep science was really at its peak:

* Rub the fat of dormice onto the soles of your feet, like the folk in Elizabethan England. Because dormice have a napping habit, which will certainly penetrate your foot and make you sleep, too.

* Put a bible on your head.

* Drink some insomniac potion from the Middle Ages "made from the gall of a castrated boar" - and hope for the best, specifically that you don't actually go to sleep forever.

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