How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Sex LifeWhen it comes to sleep and sex, it‚Äôs a two-way relationship. Sleep is vital for sexual health ‚Äì and vice versa. If you‚Äôre tossing and turning at night, there are a few things that can throw a wrench into your sex life:
- Lower Testosterone: Research has shown thatimpaired sleep can lower your testosterone, a key component of a person‚Äôs sex drive ‚Äì especially for men. Reduced testosterone levels can create a hormonal imbalance, which can deplete your sex drive. And ladies, don‚Äôt think this is a problem just for the fellas. You have testosterone as well,¬† albeit nowhere near as much as men. If you don‚Äôt catch enough ZZZs, your testosterone levels can decrease and lead to a weakened libido, too.
- Low Sperm Count: So, you and your partner have decided to take the next step and bring a little one into your lives. Conception may be an uphill battle for guys if you‚Äôre not hitting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep. According to a 2017 study,sperm counts were lower for men who slept 6 hours or less compared to those who slept for 7 hours or more. Your circadian rhythm ‚Äì aka your body‚Äôs internal clock ‚Äì helps manage hormone secretion in your body. If your sleep cycle is inconsistent, your reproductive hormones won‚Äôt be released as frequently, impeding your overall fertility.
- Diminished Social Appeal: It‚Äôs tough to feel sexy and confident when you have dark circles under your eyes from a couple of bad nights of sleep. Unfortunately, looking tired is a huge turnoff for people. In one study, researchers showed photos of both well-rested and sleep-deprived individuals to participants,who ultimately found people who didn‚Äôt get enough sleep to be less attractive and healthy. Many participants also said they would be less likely to engage the sleep-deprived in social situations. No sleep = no fun between theSHEEX.
The Benefits of Sex Before BedtimeYou already know that a sound night‚Äôs sleep contributes to a healthy sex life, but can shaking the SHEEX before hitting the hay allow you to sleep better? In short, yes ‚Äì and there‚Äôs plenty of research to back it up:
- Better Connection with Your Partner:According to a study from Australian sleep researcher Dr. Michele Lastella,64% of participants said they slept better when they had sex and achieved an orgasm. A big reason for this is the massive release of hormones after sex, including oxytocin. This ‚Äúlove hormone‚Äù helps you feel more connected with your partner. You don‚Äôt have to knock boots, though, to get a healthy dose of oxytocin. An intimate cuddling session can do the trick, too.
- Eases Stress: Worried about that presentation at work tomorrow? Rocking the bed with your significant other before sleep can definitely take the edge off.Sex helps lower cortisol, a stress-related hormone that causes anxiety and a decrease in cognitive function. Ladies (or gentlemen), you‚Äôve probably noticed your boyfriend or husband instantly falling asleep after climaxing. You can thankprolactin for that, a hormone released after an orgasm that‚Äôs tied directly to feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. ¬†
- Boosts Estrogen:Ladies, you don‚Äôt have to pop estrogen pills to keep your levels humming. For a more natural alternative, try a little romp between the SHEEX.After sex, estrogen levels are boosted, leading to an enhanced REM cycle for a deeper snooze. Healthy estrogen levels can also help fight off sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops while you snooze.
- It‚Äôs a Workout:This might be an obvious one, but getting it on can be a decent cardio workout.Scientists at the University of Montreal concluded that men burn about four calories per minute during sex, while women burn about three calories. This doesn‚Äôt mean you should designate intercourse as your sole source of exercise, but rest assured, you‚Äôll feel drained like a runner after a vigorous sprint.
Is it time for bed yet?