Posted on May 25, 2020, 6 p.m.
Getting a good night of sleep has many benefits, among those it can help to increase desire, a greater interest in sex, and an improved orgasmic session of intercourse can result in a better night of sleep in a rather lovely circle of effects.
Beside sleep and sex commonly happening in the same location, lack of sleeps and lack of sex can share some common underlying causes which includes stress. Women are more likely to have sleep problems, and the most common sexual complaint women talk to therapists and physicians about is low desire; being too tired is the top reason women list as the reason for their lack of desire.
1 in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep. Sexual issues are common in as many as 45% of women and 31% of men. A recent study has found that the longer women sleep the more interested in sex they were the next day; just an hour of extra sleep led to a 14% increased chance of having a sexual experience the following day, and more sleep was also related to increased genital arousal.
This study was conducted with college students, but those in other life stages experience even more interrelated sleep-sex issues. Those experiencing menopause are going through complicated interactions of biological and psychological issues that are associated with sleep and sex issues. A recent study found that menopausal women with sleep problems were directly linked to sexual problems, in this study sleep issues were the only menopausal symptom for which such a direct link was found.
Mothers are least likely to get a good night of sleep, especially those with new babies, thus interrelated sleep and sexual issues are prevalent; ongoing issues for mothers are often caused by having too much to do and the associated stress. Married women with school aged children that work full time are the most likely to suffer with insomnia, but part time workers and those who don’t work outside of the home also don’t sleep very well.
Fathers can also struggle with stress, but there is evidence that stress and the resulting sleep issues affect a woman’s desire more so than a man’s level of desire. This is thought to be due in part to hormones as insufficient sleep and stress trigger the release of cortisol which decreases the testosterone levels that play a significant role in the sex drive for both genders. Men have a great deal more testosterone than women, cortisol can deplete a woman’s reserve while only decreasing a man’s by half.
Although women appear to be affected more by lack of sleep and stress men still suffer from interrelated issues in these areas as well. One study involving healthy young men found that a lack of sleep resulted in decreased levels of testosterone. Another study found that sleep apnea contributes to erectile dysfunction and an overall decline in sexual functioning. While there is not much research on it, getting a better night of sleep can result in better sexual functioning for men.
Sleep and stress have an effect on sex, and the reverse is also true, sex affects sleep and stress. Too little sex can cause sleeplessness and irritability, and there is evidence that cortisol levels decline after orgasm. More positively there is evidence that the feel good love hormone oxytocin that is released after orgasm results in increased feelings of connection and better sleep. Some experts suggest that sex may have gender specific effects on sleep; orgasm increases the hormones oestrogen in women and prolactin in men which results in sleepiness.
Sleeplessness is a hidden cause of sex issues and a hidden cause of sleeplessness is sex issues. The often overlooked cure to both issues is improved sleep hygiene which can help to alleviate sexual problems and sex can help those suffering from sleep issues. It should not be a surprise that suggestions to improve and enhance both sets of issues will have an overlap.
Some experts suggest sticking to a schedule for sleep and sexual experiences, and most experts suggest decreasing the use of mobile devices both before bed and when spending time with a partner. Both of these suggestions are geared towards making the bedroom an exclusive safe haven for all the pleasures of both sleep and sex. Another suggestion is to keep work out of the bedroom, as it often come with stress that will affect both sleep and sex and damages that safe haven you are trying to create which is worth every effort to develop and protect.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.