A good night’s sleep can help increase women’s brain power, according to a new study.
Researchers at Munich’s Max Planck Institute monitored the sleeping patterns of a group of 160 adults to investigate the impact which sleep has upon intellectual capabilities, as reported by Mail Online
As well as measuring the participants’ sleep patterns, the scientists used intelligent tests to evaluate their problem solving and reasoning abilities, paying close attention to ‘sleep spindles’ – small bursts of activity in the brain that occur during sleep, which are often linked to higher IQs – and cross-referencing the results with gender.
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Larger amounts of sleep spindles were recorded when women entered into dreamless sleep, but not when men were at the same stage in their cycle. A similar boost, however, occurred in men 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,’ he added.
Last year, a study from researchers at Duke University found that women are more susceptible to sleep deprivation than men, which may be down to the hormone testosterone. This is found in higher quantities in men than in women and has previously been found to protect the body’s cells, leading the study authors to believe that it may protect against the health risks associated with lack of sleep.