Struggling to get some shut eye and trying everything under the sun to fix it?
Science might have the most natural remedy there is—sex. It might seem counter-intuitive, an act that is intended to be stimulating should actually wire you, right? For some folks, sure, but for most of us, there are a few other pieces to the puzzle that might make sex the ultimate sleep aide.
While other activities that raise your body temperature can negatively impact the quality of sleep you are—or aren’t—getting, sex creates a different response in the body that should be sending you off to dreamland, that is, if you’re doing it right.
In order to understand why sex is the solution to your sleep problems, it’s important to understand what’s keeping you awake in the first place. For a lot of us, stress is the number one factor that makes falling asleep damn near impossible. When we’re stressed, we produce a hormone called cortisol, which then attempts to ruin your life from every angle. Aside from increasing every bad thing in your body and decreasing all the good things, cortisol is also known to interrupt your sleep, or prevent it altogether.
What does sex decrease? Cortisol. Just by engaging in the activity you’re de-stressing your body and distracting your mind from whatever else is floating around—and we haven’t even gotten to the biggest benefits to your sleep, yet.
Sex with your partner also releases oxytocin and endorphins, nature’s very own feel-good drugs. Oxytocin relieves stress, promotes emotional attachment, and lulls your body into a tranquil and calming place, which is perfect for great sleep. Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are also released when you get busy, and have similar calming and relaxing effects. In women, estrogen levels increase post-sex, which has been shown to enhance REM phases, which means you’re getting better, more restorative sleep. Prolactin, released immediately after sex, is a hormone that “cools” the body off, and in men tends to make them nod off quickly, and stay asleep longer.
Good sex means great sleep, and working a romp with your partner into your bedtime routine does the body good—but what effect does sleep have on your sex life?
It’s a symbiotic relationship, to say the least. One third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and just as many report that they aren’t happy with their sex lives. While we know that sex can certainly help with the lack of sleep, is it possible that a lack of sleep is causing us to miss out on great sex? It seems that way.
Bad sleep isn’t always caused by bad sex, though. Which is why other factors may be keeping you from getting the best of both worlds. If you’re waking up sore, achey, or never getting comfortable enough to fall asleep in the first place, you’re bound to suffer from exhaustion throughout the day. Exhaustion just so happens to be the number one reason people aren’t having sex regularly and the cycle goes around and around.
A bad mattress might just be the culprit, and upgrading your bed could be the only thing standing between you and the sleep and sex life you’re missing out on.
Just our theory.
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