As impossible as it seems, your sex life has an impact on your sleep and vice-versa. Obviously we know that both are essential to our overall health, so we pay attention to both our sexual health and our sleep hygiene. However, many of us don’t know that actions and inactions in one aspect could affect the other. With this article, you will have insights into the connection between two bedroom activities – sleep and sex.
The Impact of Sex on Sleep
Researchers have revealed that certain sexual events contribute to a richer and better sleep. For instance, an orgasm leads to the release of hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin that make the body feel relaxed.
In addition, the stress-related hormone cortisol is also reduced by sexual activity. These hormonal changes can lead to drowsiness and make it easier for the sleeper to drift off.
You should note that these don’t just occur in sex; masturbation also leads to the same result. Approximately half of both men and women say that masturbation helps them improve their sleep quality and fall asleep faster.
In addition to the hormonal effects, sex also facilitates a sense of closeness and intimacy conducive to sleep. Researchers have found this effect is greater in males than in females, which aligns with the widespread belief that men frequently fall asleep right after sex.
With this in mind, you can have sex with your partner knowing that you are also improving the quality of sleep you both will have, especially when you achieve orgasm.
On the Flip Side? Effects of Sleep on Sex
Studies have revealed that there are multiple effects of sleep on the sex life of individuals. For example, a study published in the journal of Sexual Medicine in May 2015 showed that an additional hour of sleep per night might increase a woman's chances of having sexual relations with her partner by 14 percent. The immediate implication of this is that sleep affects your sexual drive.
Generally speaking, the better sleep hygiene you keep, the more positively it affects your sexual life. In the same vein, poor sleep negatively impacts your sexual life. For instance, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which interrupts sleep with breathing pauses, is associated with an increase in the risk of erectile dysfunction. Researchers have also found a link between OSA and sexual dysfunction in women.
Sleep deprivation can also affect one's mental health, which can make sex more challenging. The lack of adequate sleep can worsen depression and anxiety. And because they influence sexual desire and arousal, these disorders are often linked to sexual dysfunction in women and men.
Psychologically, poor sleep can also cause difficulties with emotions and relationships that can affect sexual health. Sleep deprivation, for example, can lead to conflicts with your partners, increased stress, reduced intimacy, and difficulty in enjoying sex.
The quality of sleep you get can also affect your sex life by affecting your decision-making and impulse control. Depriving yourself of sleep may increase your likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour that could lead to an STD or an unplanned pregnancy.
Ways to Improve Your Sex and Sleep Life
Since both facets of your life affect each other, it is profitable for you to know how to do well in both so that one does not negatively impact the other. With that in mind, we have provided a list of simple tips that you can practice today to improve your sex life and sleep hygiene.
Tips for Improving Your Sexual Health and Life
- Get to class
If you’re not enjoying a satisfying sex life, the first thing to do is get some education on the subject. You can find excellent self-help materials for every sexual issue under the sun. Look for resources on the Internet or in your local bookstore and use them to better inform yourself and your partner about the problem.
- Drink less alcohol
Drinking red wine occasionally works for enhancing desire, but excessive drinking can harm intimate relationships. Alcohol consumption can exacerbate negative emotions, such as anxiety.
Additionally, alcohol impairs your judgment and can damage your ability to make informed decisions, making safe sex much more difficult. The depressant properties of alcohol also affect our nervous systems. Your body's nerves will respond less easily to sexual stimulation when you drink too much alcohol, which will make the experience less pleasurable.
- Make a list of your fantasies
You can use this exercise to explore activities you and your partner might enjoy. For example, you might want to share memories of a memorable experience or movie that roused you with your partner. This is particularly useful for people with a low sense of desire.
- Maintain a healthy diet for a healthy sexual life
You can improve your libido and ease sexual dysfunction by eating foods packed with minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and nutrients. Your relationship can also benefit from eating meals together. Many couples use mealtimes as a time to unwind and strengthen their bond.
Tips for Improving Sleep Quality
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule, including weekends.
- Be careful not to interfere with your sleep by drinking alcohol, smoking, and drinking caffeine at night. Moreover, don’t eat late and take long naps in the evening or late afternoon.
- Ensure to get some natural light and exercise every day.
- Learn relaxation techniques to incorporate into your nightly routine before bedtime.
- As you approach bedtime, switch off any technology in the bedroom. At least 30 minutes before bed, put away your cell phone, laptop, and tablet.
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