Sex and Sleep

Today, the 15th March is National sleep day, so we have decided to look at the relationship between sex and sleep, does it help or hinder?

There are two things your bed is designed for sex and sleep (making it the very best piece of furniture you own). Sleep shortage affects millions of adults. With the stresses and anxieties of life, most adults are getting below the recommended 6-9 hours of sleep each night. Clinical sleep studies have shown lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, mental health issues and can put one at risk of developing serious medical issues.

The Connection

The connection between sex and sleep is deep and goes hand in hand. Very often a healthy sex life will lead to better sleep (this is down to those beautiful hormones explained later), and better sleep often leads to a healthier sex life (we’ve all been just too tired to have sex). Insomnia and sleep deprivation often causes the body to become stressed due to lack of sleep. The brain, in turn, will suppress the production of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone in favour of stress hormones like cortisol. This change in hormone levels can lead to decreased sex drive, infertility or erectile dysfunction.

So how does Sex Help

The endorphins released during sex are magic. They ease anxiety and relax you, making it easier to fall asleep. Sex boosts oxytocin, ‘the love hormone’ which has numerous benefits to your body and mind, including relaxation. It can also act as a sedative, which is why you often sleep so well after a massive sex session! Sex also lowers cortisol, plus, having an orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. All of that leads up to a nice, drowsy state that’s perfect for falling asleep.

There’s an added bonus for women, which is that sex boosts estrogen levels, enhancing your REM stage and giving you deeper slumber. Men also sleep more deeply after intercourse. In fact, there’s even a French term for how quickly men fall asleep after orgasm: le petit mort.

How to get better sleep

If a lack of sleep is affecting your sex life, the answer might lie in having more sex! That’s because sexual satisfaction is a great stress reliever, as well as a way to feel more intimate with your partner—and when you feel less frazzled and happier in your relationship, those feelings will contribute to better sleep (and the cycle goes on and on!). Instead of lying in bed, worrying about why you can’t fall asleep, turn to your partner and initiate sex.