Sleep is an essential part of our lives and high quality sleep is key to a healthy recovery. This means that sleep actually is one of our most important activities of the day, the more we invest in our sleep the bigger the return in all aspects of our lives. We need to sleep 6 to 9 hours a day and if our sleep duration or quality is subpar then our performance, health, mood and energy levels suffer.
Men are less likely to suffer from insomnia than women, women are actually impacted at a rate two to three times higher than men. However, men are more than twice as likely to have their sleep impacted by sleep apnea, a breathing related sleep problems.
So what are the differences between men and women when it comes to sleep?
Men and women sleep differently
There are is a difference in the circadian rhythms of women and men. By measuring the melatonin levels and body temperature the 24 hour sleep-wake cycle was tracked and the results showed clear differences. Men’s circadian clocks are set to an hour later than for women which means that they tend to fall asleep later and wake up later. As a result men also had a preference for activities later in the day. Men’s circadian cycle were also 6 minutes longer than those for women.
In another study men and women were asked to only sleep for 6 hours per night for 6 nights in a row and then had 2 nights of extended sleep, mimicking the rhythm we often have of less sleep during the work week followed by weekend catch-up.
The study showed that men perform worse than women when they don’t get enough sleep, and rebound more slowly from mild sleep deprivation when they actually can enjoy restorative sleep.
This is in part because men has less percentage of sleep in deep, slow-wave sleep stages. These sleep phases are vital for recovery and restoration. What does this mean? Men need to make sure that they make sleep a priority to ensure that they can keep performing at the top of their game.
How to sleep better
There are actions we can take to sleep better, by understanding some of the common challenges we can make step changes to our sleep quality and thereby life quality.
1. Make sleep a priority
The sleep challenge: sleep easily becomes the last thing on a very long list of things to do. However, far from being wasted time sleeping well is the tool for being able to perform better and to feel better.
How to sleep better: By tapping into the power of a well-rested body and mind we can elevate all aspects of our lives. So what does this mean? Counter-intuitively perhaps it means that the more you have to do, the more you need to ensure you get enough sleep. That’s the time when you really can’t afford to not be fully rested so make sure that sleep is on the very top of your priority list and you will have the power to tick off the other boxes as well.
2. Get enough sleep
The sleep challenge: You might not even be aware that you are chronically sleep deprived, or even see it as a badge of honour indicating just how hard you work. How much sleep we need is personal and also varies across different life stages. Signs that you don't get enough sleep include: you are regularly tired and lack energy during the day, feel irritable and lose your patience, find it difficult to focus and can’t wake in the morning without an alarm.
How to sleep better: For most people work demands mean that we have to get up at a certain time in the morning and that we can’t take naps during the day to compensate for sleep loss. To get enough sleep we need to go to bed on time. Try setting an alarm on your phone 1-2 hours before you are about to go to bed to remind yourself to already start to wind down. If our minds are racing we can’t fall asleep so try to find a relaxing bedtime routine to set yourself up for some truly restorative sleep.
3. Don’t let stress or work demands keep you up
The sleep challenge: balancing a demanding job with family life can mean that you are burning the candle at both ends. There is a clear correlation between stress at work and sleep problems. People who don’t feel supported by their co-workers are twice as likely to suffer from sleeping disorders (35% versus 18%). Stressful schedules can lead to us not getting enough sleep and having trouble sleeping through as thoughts run through our minds at night.
How to sleep better: beat the stress-sleep cycle by prioritising sleep. Try to switch off work mode earlier in the evening, stop checking your emails and try as much as possible to not bring your work home with you. If need be, write down any thoughts you have on a to-do list before going to bed and keep a pen and paper next to your bed so that you can add any new thoughts that appear during the night. This way you don’t have to activate your mind trying to remember them and can go back to sleep instead. And don’t be afraid to get professional help from a therapist. There is no shame in addressing any problems head-on!
4. Find solutions to jet lag and shift work disorder
The sleep challenge: shift work can make sleeping well very difficult and frequently travelling with work can cause jet lag. Both of these situations mean that you are working against your natural body clock, going to bed and getting up at times that aren’t in synch with your circadian rhythm. This can make sleeping difficult.
How to sleep better: You can try light therapy to get your body’s wake-sleep cycle on the same page as your work/ travel rhythm. By exposing ourselves to light mimicking sun light we can encourage our body to adapt to a new rhythm faster. Another option is to add more melatonin to our diet, either with the help of food that naturally contains melatonin or with supplements. Read more about how snooze food can help you to sleep better.
5. Healthy solutions to health related sleep problems
The sleep challenge: Men are more prone to sleep apnea than women, this is due to a connection between testosterone levels and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where our breathing temporarily stops during the night, impacting 4-9% of adult men. The result is a restless sleep so it’s imperative that you seek help from a physician if you are experiencing sleep apnea or other health related sleep problems.
How to sleep better: Sleep apnea has been linked to overweight and losing weight can alleviate the symptoms. Low levels of testosterone can also lead to sleep apnea so discuss with your doctor if a testosterone therapy might be the right solution. Finally reviewing our sleep hygiene including our level of movement, food and drink intake and sleep schedule can help us to sleep better regardless of our health conditions. Read more about how you can improve your sleep hygiene.
6. Night sweats
The sleep challenge. Many men are impacted by sweating in sleep, a study in the UK has shown that up to one third of patients complain of night sweats. Sweating is a totally normal thermo-regulation process, on average we sweat the equivalence to 1 cup every night. Cold sweats at night or excessive sweating at night can however make sleeping well difficult. When we sleep we are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, if we can’t keep the best temperature for sleep our deep sleep in particular is suffering. Night sweats can be a real sleep killer but there are easy actions you can take to sleep better.
How to sleep better: If you don’t want to wake up sweating there are some easy actions you can take with regards to your sleep hygiene. By avoiding foods that are difficult to digest before going to bed and reducing alcohol intake we can reduce the risk for night sweats. Smoking and inhaling second hand smoke has also been linked to sweating in sleep. Exercising is great for our sleep but avoid doing sports just before going to bed as this can elevated our body temperature making it difficult to fall asleep. Finally keep your bedroom cool and make sure that you are wearing the best pajamas for men. If you wear the wrong materials the result can be uncomfortable wetness on your skin and sleepwear that is cold and drenched. By wearing temperature and moisture wicking pajamas we can sleep deeper and longer.
How to get a good night sleep with Dagsmejan
The best men's pajamas should adapt itself to your physiological sleep needs for a truly restorative sleep. That’s why we at Dagsmejan created 3 different collections of sleepwear adjusting to your need. Each collection work on 4 levels:
- Temperature regulation: by keeping the best temperature for sleep we can sleep better. Dagsmejan’s mens pajamas provide lightweight breathability to ensure you don’t overheat during the night whilst staying warm enough.
- Moisture management: by combining evaporative cooling with moisture wicking properties Dagsmejan mens sleepwear works with your body’s natural thermoregulation process, not against it. It allows you to cool down whilst staying dry. Moisture wicking pajamas taken to the next level.
- Supreme fit and comfort: engineered for sleep Dagsmejan pajamas has no tags, buttons and seams that can cause irritation during the night. With the most comfortable pajamas you are set up for supreme comfort and supreme sleep quality.
- Super soft touch: During our sleep the blood flow to our skin increases making us more sensitive to touch. With super soft materials you are immediately put at ease, that what makes for the best pajamas for men.
FIND THE BEST PAJAMAS FOR MEN
Dagsmejan sleepwear caters to your individual physiological sleep needs so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Combining the finest natural fibres with the latest textile technology, Dagsmejan sleepwear is scientifically proven to improve your sleep by helping you to keep the best temperature for sleep. With a sustainable and ethical production in Europe you can truly sleep easy. Find the best pajamas for you:
Combining the finest merino wool with high-tech Tencel from Eucalyptus NATTWARM™ fabric keep you comfortably warm without ever overheating. This luxury pajamas are your perfect match if you have a tendency to get cold during the night or during the winter season. Discovery what merino pajamas can do for your sleep.
Struggle to keep the ideal sleeping temperature? Balance out temperature changes and don’t worry about sweating in sleep with NATTWELL™ fabric. By enhancing beechwood fibres with a patented sleep technology, the Balance collection is 6x more breathable than cotton and 4x better at moisture management.
Keep your cool with with this collection of lightweight pajamas based on Eucalyptus fibre. NATTCOOL™ fabric is 8x more breathable than cotton and dries in 1/3 of the time. That’s what makes Stay Cool not the best pajamas for men if you want to make sure that you don’t overheat or wake up sweating, even when the temperature rises.