The Nightmare(s) of Single Womanhood

Ransom Riggs

Being a single woman these days can be a nightmare. Or more specifically -- it can lead to them.

We're not making this up. Over the past few years there have been a few interesting sleep studies done on women, and one found that women are more prone to nightmares in general. When asked to describe their most recent dreams, 19% of male study participants reported a nightmare, as opposed to 30% of women. One in three! Researchers partially explained this by citing the changes in women's body temperature throughout their monthly cycle, which can lead to more vivid and disturbing dreams; women, it seems, tend to take their emotional lives to bed with them, and their sleep tends to be more disrupted by insomnia.

Unless, that is, they happen to be sharing a bed with someone. Women with a bed partner tend to sleep more deeply than men, and are less likely to remember having nightmares.

If this is the case, then shouldn't single women, plagued by nightmares and insomnia (OK, I'm exaggerating a little), walking zombies? According to sleep experts, the answer is no. It's because women are pre-programmed to deal with disturbed sleep better than men. "A lot of life events that women have disturb sleep - bringing up children, the menopause and even the menstrual cycle," explains Dr. Neil Stanley.

Any of you readers out there have corroborating evidence?