What has sleep and sex have in common? Both are usually done in bed, of course! But the connection between the two activities goes deeper than sharing a venue. If either your sleep or sex life is suffering, you can improve one by improving the other.
Think about it: If you enjoy sufficient sleep, you will have more energy and enthusiasm for sex. If you enjoy a healthy round or two of sex, you will likely sleep well, too. The close connection between these two activities, indeed, make them a favorite topic among buyers of high-quality supportive mattresses like Restonic for obvious reasons (e.g., which mattress will hold up well to an active sex life).
Short Sleep, Short on Sex
Sleep deprivation, insomnia and other sleep disorders are known to cause depression and anxiety, among other side effects. In turn, these mental health issues can cause sexual dysfunction in the physical and psychological aspects.
For one thing, when the body becomes stressed because of insufficient sleep, the brain sends signals to decrease the production of sex hormones (e.g., testosterone in men and estrogen in women) and increase the production of stress hormones (e.g., cortisol). The changes in hormone levels can, in turn, result in decreased sex drive and infertility for both sexes, as well as erectile dysfunction in men.
This is the biological side of the sleep-sex connection, which also manifests itself in other cases where sleep deprivation can occur. Women, for example, are most likely to experience the sleep-sex connection due to the effects of pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause on their bodies.
For another thing, when you have been deprived of sufficient sleep for prolonged periods, you will be too tired to even engage in petting. You don’t even have the physical and mental energy to hug and kiss your partner because you’re so focused on plopping on your bed and catching up on your sleep. Indeed, sex therapists report that being too tired for sex is the leading reason why many persons and couples have lost their interest in sex.
In contrast, if you sleep faster and longer, and woke up feeling rejuvenated, you will have more interest in enjoying sex the following day. The longer you sleep, the greater your interest in sex and, vice versa, the shorter your sleep, the less interested you will be in it. It’s a no-brainer, if you have an active sex life.
More Sex, More Sleep
On the flipside, good sex aids in getting good sleep! Consequently, getting good sleep will improve your sex life even further. The cycle continues and, thus, proves that sleep and sex have an interdependent relationship.
Sex before going to sleep can improve sleep quality, and it isn’t just in the physical sense but in the biological sense, too. Your body releases endorphins during sex – and endorphins are hormones that ease anxiety and stimulate a relaxed feeling. Your body also releases oxytocin, the so-called love hormone with several benefits including inducing relaxation.
Endorphins and oxytocin, among other feel-good hormones released during sex, act as natural sedatives that will decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. These hormones also make you feel loved and so you will relax in the company of your partner, not to mention that these hormones are also released during hugging and spooning. Even after you have enjoyed orgasm, you’re still getting the benefit of these natural sedatives, thanks to the after-sex cuddling.
But don’t just engage in sex as a natural sleeping pill, of sort. Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind to get the most benefit from the sleep-sex connection.
- Aim for seven to eight hours of restful sleep every night. You have to account for your unique circadian rhythms, sleep habits, and lifestyle, however, when determining the right number of sleep hours in your case. Basically, if you wake up feeling rested after waking up in the morning, then you likely enjoyed sufficient sleep; if you still feel tired, then you need more sleep.
- Identify your actions, behaviors and decisions that you made throughout the day (i.e., from morning to late afternoon) that will likely have an impact on your sleep later in the night. Also known as sleep hygiene, these can include eating healthy food, limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake especially a few hours before bedtime, and getting moderate exercise (e.g., 30 minutes of brisk walking) every day. You should also turn off all screens – the television, laptop, and mobile devices – at least a half-hour before your bedtime, turn off all the bright lights in your bedroom, and keep the temperature in it cool.
Of course, you should strive for healthy lifestyle habits along with your partner. The healthier you both are, the greater your interest in sex with each other. In life, it’s always best to be partners in and out of bed.