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Study Explains Why Women Are Grumpier Than Men in the Mornings

Update Date: Mar 12, 2013 04:17 PM EDT

Now you can't blame your wife for being a grouch in the morning because new research reveals she really can't help it.

After studying the sleeping habits of 210 people, researchers found that women who didn't get enough sleep were "more hostile and angry" in the morning compared to men who got the same amount of sleep.

The findings published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, suggest that women suffer more "mentally and physically" if they don't get enough sleep because sex differences in hormones mean women need more time asleep to "keep their hormones in balance".

"The study suggests that poor sleep - measured by the total amount of sleep, the degree of awakening during the night, and most importantly, how long it takes to get to sleep - may have more serious health consequences for women than for men," lead author Edward Suarez, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, said in a statement.

"We found that for women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress, and greater feelings of hostility, depression and anger," he said, adding that these negative feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.

The findings also found that women who didn't get enough sleep over a prolonged period of time were more likely to develop heart disease, depression and psychological problems than their male counterparts.

"Good sleep is related to good health. More research needs to be done to define gender-linked responses to poor sleep, including the role that sex hormones play over a lifetime and how sleep needs and responses change from childhood to maturity," Suarez concluded.

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