It’s been said that sleep is the new sex, and rightly so—a good night of sleep is going to do many things for the vibrancy, intimacy, and vitality of your relationship. We know that when couples are not getting sufficient sleep, they have more conflicts the next day and won’t resolve them nearly as well. This is partly because underslept couples suffer a loss of empathy for each other.
However, insufficient sleep also has an effect on sex itself. Specifically, your reproductive hormones suffer, which are critical for the health of your sexual relationship. For example, young men who sleep just four to five hours a night will have a level of testosterone equivalent to someone ten years their senior.
The same is true for women. Women who are not getting adequate sleep are 30% more likely to have abnormal menstrual cycles and suffer reductions in hormones critical to sexual wellness and fertility, including estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.
Reductions in estrogen and testosterone can also decrease the sexual arousal a woman experiences. In contrast, one hour of extra sleep is associated with a 14% increase in the likelihood of a woman wanting to be sexually intimate with her partner.
So sleep will certainly enhance sex, but it turns out that sex will also enhance your sleep. Sex before bed will improve the subsequent quality of sleep that you get that night, as long as that sex results in orgasm.
And thankfully, it’s not necessary to have a partner to get these benefits. Orgasm achieved through self-stimulation helps an individual fall asleep faster, and improves the reported quality of sleep they subsequently obtain.
These findings are potentially important because they tell us that both sex and orgasm seem to be reliable sleep aids. So perhaps we don’t need to look to the latest and greatest sleep gadgets. Instead, we may be able to explore sex and orgasm as potential pathways to better sleep. In summary, sleep and sex are powerful and playful bedfellows.
Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive.
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