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AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Shhh.
EYES WIDE SHUT

Worldwide, women sleep more than men. (Then why are we so exhausted?)

By Annalisa Merelli

Women around the world sleep more than men—or at least, women who track their sleep through their smartphones do.

That’s according to statistics from Sleep Cycle, an alarm-clock app that collects data on users’ sleep patterns to identify the optimal wake-up time, ideally during the lightest sleep phase.

The data, collected over nine months on 1 million users in 50 countries, show that women between the ages of 16 and 55 get more sleep per night than men do. And in nearly every country (the exceptions being Colombia, Portugal, and Ukraine) women also report waking up in a worse mood than men during the week.

It sounds counterintuitive, but these trends go hand in hand: Research has found that women, who tend to multitask more during the day and hence use more of their brain power, need more sleep. So even if they sleep more than men do, some women still might not be getting enough rest—and those who don’t might feel the effects more acutely than their male counterparts. The suffering isn’t limited to mood. Insufficient sleep has been linked to serious health issues in women, such as depression and higher risk of stroke.

Here’s how time spent sleeping each night of the week compares in the US, where women sleep on average a little more than seven hours a night, while men a little under seven:

True to their hardworking stereotype, Japanese women sleep less than women anywhere else: with five hours and 56 minutes on average, they sleep nearly two hours less per night than their Finnish, Dutch, and New Zealander counterparts, who average seven hours and 41 minutes of sleep. And Japanese men sleep even less, averaging just five hours and 45 minutes on Thursday nights, for example. This might explain why both Japanese men and women have the worst wake-up mood.

Here’s a sampling of how much sleep women in various countries average each night:

Length of sleep doesn’t necessarily translate into quality of sleep, though. Chinese women don’t tend to sleep for as many hours as the women at the top of the ranking above, but they have the best quality sleep, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to Sleep Cycle. (The app itself measures length and quality of sleep; data on wake-up mood is self-reported by users.)

Other countries where sleep is generally good are Poland,  Czech Republic, and Taiwan. Meanwhile, women in New Zealand, who are among the longest sleepers, also experience some of the worst quality sleep—along with women in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and the US.

Worldwide, it’s no surprise, Saturday is the day of the week with the latest bedtime for women; the latest to call it a night are Portuguese (1:34am), Taiwanese (1:23am), and South Korean women (1:21am).

Saturday is, in general, also the least satisfactory night of sleep by women around the world, though it’s the night where they stay in bed the longest and report having the best wake-up mood. The survey doesn’t provide information on whether this is connected to how much fun was had the night before.