I don’t know about you, but I love sleep. I love to LIVE during the daytime, but once I’ve lived an awesome day I want to hit that sack and sleep like a baby for 7-8 hours. That way I can get up and crush the next day just as well!
Sleep has gotten a lot of press lately in the media. There’s been a lot of talk about how important it is for our health – mental, physical, even emotional. It reduces stress, decreases risk for heart disease, and reduces depression. Guess what else? IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT FOR OUR SEXUAL HEALTH! As if I didn’t love sleep before…now I love it even more!
Did you know that the excuse of “I’m too tired” has become the number one excuse for not wanting sex, surpassing the age-old “I have a headache”? And look at all the stress in our lives! It’s no wonder we’re too tired for romping. Which is why we need to prioritize getting enough sleep! When we prioritize that, we prioritize our sexual health, and give ourselves the promise of a better sex life! #gimmegimmegimme
TALK SLEEPY TO ME
I don’t make these things up. I couldn’t if I tried! But doctors and researchers from reputable institutions and organizations have identified some of the top ways sleep helps our libido. Five are listed below! There is also a lot of information out there about how sleep deprivation links to infertility in both men and women, among other things, but we’re going to stick to the positive side of what sleep DOES for our sex drive. Don’t snooze your way through this list!
Sleep boosts testosterone
o When we sleep, our body replenishes all the things it needs to replenish, like hormones. If we don’t let our bodies get the rest they need, our bodies will start to take short cuts to deal with that stress of not having enough time to do what it needs. One of the ways it does that is by decreasing testosterone production. And testosterone is like a “mojo” hormone; it helps you stay you vitalized and horny. So, the more sleep you get, the better our bodies replenish what it needs, including hormones like testosterone. And yes, women produce testosterone too!
Sleep helps us focus
o We’ve all been there. After a late night, whether we’ve been out drinking or up with a child, the next day is a little less than our best. Shalini Paruthi, M.D. is a sleep specialist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She says, “You’re more likely to make mistakes at work, for example, but less likely to realize it and correct them.” While that’s the truth, think about how that translates in the bedroom. We may not make “mistakes,” but have you ever had sleepy sex? The kind where you’re going through the motions, eyes closed not out of passion but out of exhaustion? We can’t focus when we’re tired! Which means that third base or homerun action will be sloppy and unfocused. While that may happen occasionally, if a constant lack of sleep has you performing that way, there could be some emotional, unintended consequences on the part of your partner. Get your A-game on by getting proper sleep!
Sleep reduces stress
o When your body is deprived of sleep, it is constantly on high alert. There was a study done in 1997 by the University of Chicago that found subjects who slept fewer hours in a night experienced higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. A study in 2010 by the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that high levels of cortisone negatively impacted sex drive. And listen to this: cortisol is naturally decreased during sexual arousal and orgasm. So, if you’re too tired and stressed to have sex, the thing that will help that is having sex. But we’re too tired and stressed to get aroused or have an orgasm. Alas. It’s a terrible cycle. Are you starting to see how important sleep is?! Stop reading this and go take a nap! Just kidding. Nap after you finish reading this post.
Sleep helps sexual arousal goes up
o Get this: The likelihood of sexual activity with a partner improves by 14% for each additional hour of sleep you get, according to University of Michigan researchers. Coupled with that, there was a pilot study done by The Journal of Sexual Medicine that found that not only did subjects WANT more sex when they had more sleep, but they become aroused more easily! Women specifically reported the ease they felt genital arousal (measured by the Female Sexual Function Index’s genital arousal scale). Want to feel more frisky? Change that first number on your alarm clock to one higher and you just might feel that frisk you’re looking for!
We feel sexy when we’re rested!
o We’ve seen in on vacation commercials a hundred times: a man or woman rises out of bed, in front of a big window overlooking the ocean. They stretch with a big smile on their face and go on to have an entire day filled with fun, sun, food and adventure. Why do they have such a killer day? Because they are rested! Let’s bring it back to real life. Days you show up to work groggy and cranky: not the best night’s sleep is probably one of many potential culprits. Happy mood, increased confidence: a good night’s sleep is probably one of the contributing factors. When our bodies have had the proper time to restore what it needs, it translates into so many other parts of our days awake. We FEEL better! Which makes us feel sexy. Which makes us want sex. Which decreases our cortisol, increases emotional satisfaction, etc. It’s all related on this carousel called [sex] life!
DON’T DO THE-Zzz-E THINGS
Some of us have natural sleep habits. It comes easy to some of us (my best friend needs at least nine hours of sleep and can fall asleep anywhere at the drop of a hat) and others of us feel fine after just a few hours (my dad) or have a hard time falling asleep (also my dad). Regardless of your body’s inclination for sleep, here are two easy tips to help work your way towards more, and better sleep! Which hopefully leads to more, and better, sex.
DON’T…use technology before bed
o All that screen time reduces melatonin production, which is a crucial hormone for sleep. If you stare at screens all day and all night, your chance for solid sleep decreases. Turn screens/devices off at least one hour before you go to bed!
DON’T…use alcohol as a sleep aid
o Many people have an adult beverage or two with dinner, and sometimes that carries over into a habit of using alcohol to help you fall asleep. While you may fall asleep faster when you drink, alcohol interferes with the deepest stages of sleep so the sleep you do get is less restful. Which means you don’t wake up feeling the same way as someone who went to sleep without using alcohol. By all means, raise a glass and toast to life! But don’t do it right before you lay down for bed.
Gone are the days of my belief in the saying “you can sleep when you’re dead.” My philosophy is that if I sleep while I’m alive, it will help me live better while I’m alive! And if that includes better sex? Then by all means…allow me to leave you here to go have sweet dreams. Sleep sweet, friends!