sleep and sex

How Your Sleep and Sex Lives Are Related

How has your shut-eye been recently? Consistent, deep, and/or revitalizing? Does your sex life match? Chances are your sleep and sex lives are more closely related than you think. Numerous studies on the connectedness between the two aspects of our adult lives have been performed. They suggest that better sleep could lead to better sex, and vice versa. Find out more about the correlation between sleep and sex below.

Better Sleep, Better Sex

A popular New York Times wellness blog piece from 2015 documents a sleep-sex study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study recruited 171 female college students to participate, completing detailed and validated questionnaires.

It concluded that an extra hour of sleep for participants corresponded to higher levels of sexual desire and a 14% increase in the chance of a roll in the hay the following day.

Additionally, women with longer average sleep times every night during the study period reported greater vaginal lubrication during sex than those with shorter average sleep.

Poor Sleep, Poor Sex

Numerous other studies have researched how sleep problems can lead to sex life problems. Someone who suffers from insomnia is likely to develop a complex nightly routine in order to fall asleep, and sex often gets the boot in such a routine.

Same goes for men with sleep apnea: a 2012 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine researched men with both sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction (ED), as the two disorders have been associated.

The study researched men with sleep apnea who were treated with continuous positive airway pressure therapy, in order to see if the airway therapy had any long-term effect on sexual function, including ED.

The results were clear. Long-term airway therapy treatment of sleep apnea can improve or preserve sexual function in men with sleep apnea and moderate to severe ED. This research suggests a reversibility of sleep apnea–induced sexual dysfunctions. This is welcome news for men with apnea and ED!

Sex Can Improve Sleep 

There are other studies that showcase the benefits of sex for insomniacs. One literature review from the University of Ottawa studied articles that researched hormones associated with sexual intercourse and their role prior to sleep.

The review concluded that engaging in sexual intercourse prior to sleep can decrease stress. Such stress decrease can assist female insomniacs by helping to initiate and maintain sleep. So sex may be an alternative or addition to the routines insomniacs rely on prior to sleep.

A lot of us sleep, and/or have sex. What connections can you make about your sleep and sex lives? Do you think one contributes to the other?

About the Author

Clare Gallagher is an ultrarunner for The North Face and travels extensively for races and philanthropic work. She studied coral ecology at Princeton University where she also ran cross country and track. Clare has taught English in Thailand where she started a non-profit environmental stewardship program, she has scribed in emergency rooms across Denver, and she writes regularly for various running blogs.

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