Stereotypes of the Sleep-Deprived: Is It Manly to Be Tired?

Can Sleeping Less Make You More Masculine?

Stereotypes of the Sleep-Deprived: Is It Manly to Be Tired?

Do your sleeping habits affect the way that people see you and your masculinity? Yes, according to a new study.

It seems getting less sleep has somehow become a quality of masculinity. But should it be? This ties into the idea of productivity over mental and physical health.

But, there’s also a layer of machismo that connects with it. For instance, US President Donald Trump once boasted about getting less sleep than “Sleepy Joe” Biden.

He boasted about getting 4 fewer hours of sleep per night than his political opponent Joe Biden.

But what do scientists have to say about this? When Nathan B. Warren and Troy H. Campbell met, they knew they’d be good working partners. Warren is a Ph.D.

candidate of Marketing at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. Meanwhile, Troy H. Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the same school. While Warren is studying for his Ph.D.

, he needed to get research experience. Thus, the two decided to conduct a study together.

This specific study was titled “The Sleep-Deprived Masculinity Stereotype.” The two men decided to look into the topics of sleeping habits, gender norms, societal expectations, and toxic masculinity. And why are we talking about it here? Because not only did the study trend online last week, but it was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

The Method & Results

In order to conduct the study, the researchers went through a series of studies. Twelve separate studies, to be exact. Each study was different in not only how it was done but also in the pools of participants involved. To find the people that they studied and surveyed, the researchers used different programs and platforms Amazon Mechanical Turk or the Prolific research platform.

In the end, the surveys all came with one conclusive answer: people see sleeping less as a masculine trait. One survey focusing on 144 people found that most men agree with this idea.

Then another survey, this time involving 385 people, found that participants described “manly” men as getting less sleep than “unmanly men.

” This mirrors the words of President Trump in his argument against Former Vice President Joe Biden.

What do Warren and Campbell think of all this? In these results, they saw an unhealthy perspective on masculinity. This then pushes the idea that unhealthy life choices are more masculine than taking care of yourself. But more on that in another section of this article.

“The social nature of the sleep-deprived masculinity stereotype positively reinforces males who sleep less, even though sleeping less contributes to significant mental and physical health problems,” Warren and Campbell wrote in their study’s reflection.

This may be particularly detrimental because men frequently have significantly more negative attitudes towards seeking psychological help.

“Unfortunately, the problems created by the sleep-deprived masculinity stereotype may reach beyond individuals and into society, as men who sleep less are found to be more aggressive and violent.”

“Men often choose to ‘tough it out' by avoiding feminine associations with health care,” the authors added. “Despite the severe consequences for men's health, demonstrating stoic toughness allows men to display stereotypically masculine and agentic traits of strength, independence, autonomy, and resilience.”

Warren and Campbell then added, “As society continues to challenge traditional definitions of masculinity, attitudes toward sleep may become more positive, and all people might enjoy more nights full of healthy sleep.”

Other Activities That Are Not Masculine/Straight

But this isn’t the first time we’ve come across ridiculous assertions of what is right or wrong for men to do. Here’s a quick list of other “traits” that are similarly stupid.

1. Recycling

Another research study, this time from 2019, found that men think recycling and being mindful of eco-friendly endeavors is not masculine. The men said they’d be afraid of having their sexualities questioned if they were to recycle or practice green-friendly activities. It looks it’s not only the ozone layer that’s fragile!

2. Eating Sweets

You know that old stereotype that “real men” don’t eat sweets? Well, that popped up as a topic on back in April of this year. A series of tweets talked about the topic and one in particular sparked controversy by saying, “mean eat MEALS.” This relates to another survey that found similar mentalities among people.

a guy ordering dessert on a date is a red flag for me. that’s a female thing to do fr.

— ghetto fantasy lyssa (@ms_fishscale) April 12, 2020

if a guy is on a date with a woman, the woman should be the only one asking for appetizers and dessert. men eat MEALS. seriously. you can just taste some of whatever i ordered.

— ghetto fantasy lyssa (@ms_fishscale) April 13, 2020

3. Eating Brunch

But a guy’s gotta eat, right? Apparently not brunch though. This was yet another fight that happened over in the past few months. With users posting thoughts , “I don’t trust men who eat breakfast, that’s a female trait,” you can see there’s a lot of unlearning needed to be done.

4. Cleaning Your Butt

Oh, and remember that hygiene thing we talked about earlier? Well, here it is! Earlier this summer, writer David Futrell shared a story of a woman who shared that her boyfriend does not wipe his butt because “a real man doesn’t go in between his cheeks or spread them open for anything.”

Other Examples?

From sleeping to wiping your butt, there seems to be many ways in which someone can veer off the path of masculinity. What are other examples of toxic masculinity that you’d to see go away? Let us know your thoughts down below.


Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

Stereotypes of the Sleep-Deprived: Is It Manly to Be Tired?

The average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel refreshed. However, research suggests that women tend to sleep just a little bit longer — 11 minutes, to be exact — than men.

Why Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

There are a number of reasons why women may need more sleep than men. Women are 40 percent more ly to have insomnia than men. Women are also nearly twice as ly to suffer from anxiety and depression as men, two conditions strongly associated with insomnia. Individuals with insomnia have difficulty falling or staying asleep on a regular basis, and suffer from sleepiness during the day.

Hormones are another culprit behind women’s greater need for sleep than men. Our sleep-wake cycles are ruled by our hormones.

These hormones affect when we feel tired, when we feel alert, when we feel hungry, and much more.

Women experience hormonal changes each month and over the course of their lifetimes, which impact their circadian rhythms and create a greater need for sleep. For example:

  • During menstruation, one-third of women have trouble sleeping due to cramps, headaches, and bloating. They report higher levels of daytime sleepiness, tiredness, and fatigue.
  • During pregnancy, women may develop restless legs syndrome, a condition that makes it harder to fall asleep. They’re also more ly to experience depression, sleep apnea, pain, and incontinence which disrupt their sleep. These sleep issues can persist into the postpartum period, when their hormone levels drop at the same time they start taking care of a newborn with an irregular sleep cycle — often resulting in even more daytime sleepiness.
  • During menopause, up to 85 percent of women experience hot flashes. When these occur at night, women wake up in a sweat, thereby disrupting their sleep. Women’s risk of developing sleep apnea also increases during menopause. This sleep disorder causes pauses in breathing that can interfere with the quality of one’s sleep, even if the person doesn’t wake up. As a result, women with sleep apnea may feel less refreshed upon waking up and experience tiredness and excessive sleepiness during the day.

Do Women Actually Sleep More Than Men?

While research tells us that women need more sleep than men, it’s also the case that women tend to sleep slightly longer than men — by just over 11 minutes.

The bad news, however, is that women’s sleep may be lower quality than men’s, perhaps due to differences in how they spend their day.

Researchers have documented differences in the amount of time women and men dedicate to paid and unpaid labor, work and social responsibilities, and family caregiving.

For example, women are more ly than men to wake up to take care of others in the home, a task which disrupts their sleep.

Both men and women with children enjoy slightly more sleep than their childless counterparts, independent of marital status. However, women are more ly to nap during the day, which suggests their longer total sleep time may be misleading, since some of it takes place during the day. Naps add to a person’s total sleep time, but they also make nighttime sleep less restful.

Sleep works best when you sleep uninterrupted throughout the night. During a full night’s sleep, you cycle through the various stages of sleep several times a night — from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep and back again.

With each subsequent stage of sleep, you spend more time in REM sleep, a time for dreaming and cognitive processing, and less time in deep sleep, a time where your body physically repairs itself.

When that sleep is interrupted, you start the cycle over again — causing you to miss out on essential REM sleep.

Multiple studies have found that women fall asleep faster  than men. This may suggest they have a greater need for sleep; it could also suggest they are simply more tired on average. Studies show women also spend more time in deep sleep than men. Although that changes in menopause, when women take longer to fall asleep and spend less time in deep sleep than men.

Do You Need More Sleep?

Regardless of which gender needs more sleep, the reality is too many women and men don’t get enough sleep, no matter their age. According to the CDC, only 64.5 percent of men and 65.

2 percent of women actually sleep at least 7 hours per night on a regular basis. The numbers are even worse among high school students, especially young women. 71.

3 percent of female students regularly miss out on good sleep, compared with only 66.4 percent of their male counterparts.

The best way to know if you’re getting enough sleep is whether you feel refreshed and restored when you wake up.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try getting regular exercise, setting routine bed and wake times, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, and improving your sleep environment.

Develop a bedtime routine that calms down your mind and body before sleep. If your insomnia persists, talk to your doctor to determine other steps you can take to improve your sleep.

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