Getting a good night’s sleep actually makes women smarter

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Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

There are many things we can learn about ourselves if we analyse our sleeping patterns. How you sleep can tell you a lot about your relationship, and different sleep positions can affect your wellbeing.

It’s also no secret that bad sleep can have a huge effect on your healthinsomnia and sleep anxiety can have a huge impact on a person’s day-to-day life.

But did you know the benefits of a good night’s sleep go way beyond a healthy glow and improved cognitive function?

According to a study at Munich’s Max Planck Institute, a good sleep can actually increase women’s brain power.

The Mail Online reports that researchers looked at the sleep patterns of 160 adults to find out whether the amount of sleep we get has an impact on our intelligence. The scientists looked at participants sleep, as well as their ability to problem solve and reason logically. In particular, they were looking for ‘sleep spindles’, which are tiny bursts of brain activity that happen during sleep and are often linked to a higher IQ.

After they had collected their data, they cross-referenced the results with gender to find that women showed more sleep spindles during a dreamless snooze, but for men at the same stage of their sleep cycle this wasn’t the case. For the males, the increased sleep spindles happened during naps.

‘Our results demonstrate that the association between sleep spindles and intelligence is more complex than we have assumed until now,’ explained Professor Martin Dresler.

‘There are many factors involved in intellectual abilities, and sleep is just one of them. This large study of men and women gives us a more accurate framework for the next face of research, which will involve differences in individuals’ sleep patterns.’

A recent study in the Journal of Sleep Research also showed that a daily 20 minute nap is the key to working more efficiently at the office.

So if women team a disco nap with a good eight hours a night, imagine what it would do for the health of our brains.

You’ll find us snoozing at lunch…

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