Sex and sexuality are two of the most important aspects of adult health. When it comes to sexual health, a person’s whole well-being isn’t just limited to their physical health.
Getting a good night’s sleep has a ripple effect that can be felt across a vast area. Every physiological process and system is impacted by this foundational pillar of good health.
Despite the fact that sleep and sexuality are crucial for a healthy life, they are frequently treated as separate entities. Fortunately, current studies in the health sciences are showing that sex and sleep are linked in a substantial and bidirectional manner.
In spite of the fact that additional research is required, it appears that a better sleep-life balance goes hand in hand with improved love life, and vice versa.
Adults’ health can be improved by recognizing the link between sleep, sex, and overall well-being. There are numerous ways to do this.
Stages of Sexual Response Cycle
Sexual function is a physically demanding endeavor, regardless of a person’s anatomy. Each of these three systems—the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine—plays a vital part in sexual activity. Thoughts and feelings are also part of sexual activity, which has a psychological component.
The following are the phases of sexual development:
- A person’s desire for sex, or libido, is referred to as an urge. When it comes to desire, scents, sights, and tactile cues can all play a role in the process. Words and thoughts can also elicit feelings of desire. When the desire for sex increases, sexual arousal occurs.
- An aroused person’s body is a physical expression of their sexual desire. In order to increase blood flow to the genitals, the brain communicates with the genitals. The arteries that supply the erectile tissue grow and become more pressurized when blood flow to it increases. Blood flowing into the clitoris results in the production of vaginal fluids. The intensity of these processes builds with time and then plateaus.
- Climax, or orgasm, is one of sex’s most thrilling and gratifying stages. People’s muscles tense up all over before an orgasm. It is common for people with powerful vaginal muscles to experience many orgasms during sex. Humans with penises most commonly experience orgasm through ejaculation.
- During this stage, blood flow to the genitals decreases, and arousal sensations diminish. In time, the body reverts to its pre-injury state.
What Happens During Sex That May Support Sleep?
Finally, it appears that sex can help alleviate the effects of sleep loss. It has been found that the release of hormones as a result of sexual excitement can increase the quality of one’s sleep. Hormones like Oxytocin and Prolactin, are produced by your pituitary gland to induce sleep when you’re having a sexual experience. Endorphins, the feel-good chemicals released during sexual activity, may also aid in your preparation for sleep by reducing your anxiety and stress levels. Additionally, the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are decreased during a sexual encounter, resulting in an immediate reduction in tension and anxiety.
The release of several hormones and chemicals may assist you to fall asleep when you’re having sex, including:
- Oxytocin is a hormone (the cuddle hormone).
- Dopamine, is a stress-inducing steroid hormone (the pleasure hormone).
- It is the brain’s own painkiller, endorphins (another pleasure hormone).
- The neurotransmitter serotonin (the happy chemical).
- prolactin is a hormone that helps the body produce milk (the post-orgasm hormone that lets you doze off easily).
During a sexual encounter, hormones are released into the body that promotes sensations of connection, safety, calmness, and contentment. Having sex can help you sleep better than you would otherwise because it relaxes and soothes your body and mind.
Orgasm is not required for a satisfying sex experience, but it can still help you cope with the pressures of everyday life. When you’re not thinking about work or money, pay attention to how you feel physically.
Elements of Healthy Sleep and Sex
Both the act of sleeping and the act of sexual desire include mental and physical processes that are connected. Having a better understanding of the link between healthy sleep and sexual activity can be achieved by going through the basics.
For most people, a good night’s sleep equates to seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
A good night’s rest is just as crucial. Each of the several sleep cycles that make up a regular night’s rest is composed of distinct stages of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep is required for a restorative sleep in order to fully experience these stages.
Even though sleep has many of the same fundamental qualities in both sexes, there might be differences in how each gender experiences sleep.
In the same way that sleeps consists of multiple components, so does sex. The four stages of healthy sexual function are the same for both sexes:
- The desire for sex, or libido, is a common term for the desire for sex.
- It’s arousal when the penis or clitoris are stimulated by blood flow to the area.
- The excitement reaches its highest pitch, orgasm. Ejaculation, which occurs after an orgasm has ended, is quite common.
- After an orgasm, the body and mind need time to calm down and return to a more normal state of mind.
If this process is disrupted at any point, it might lead to sexual dysfunction.
Male and female sexual disorders can afflict everyone, but the underlying reasons and symptoms tend to differ. Approximately 33 percent of men and 45 percent of women reported at least modest sexual issues in the previous year, while approximately 13 percent of men and 17 percent of women had more serious disorders that caused them great pain.
Dissatisfied or uninteresting sexual encounters are among the most common symptoms of sexual dysfunction, as is a lack of sexual desire. Mental, emotional, and/or relationship illnesses are frequently implicated in problems with sexual health.
How Does Sleep Affect Sex?
Several studies have shown that sleep has a variety of effects on sexual activity.
There is a correlation between a lack of sleep and an overall decline in women’s sexual desire. Because insomnia is a common sleep disorder, it is possible that sexual dysfunction may be linked to it. For men, erectile dysfunction is linked to lack of sleep and sleep disorders.
Short-term sleep deprivation has been shown to increase women’s desire for sex the following day, which may be due to changes in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. However, a lack of sleep was not found to increase the likelihood of sex, which may illustrate how sleepiness and weariness can interfere with sex.
Sexual dysfunction has been associated with a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia. Impotence is more likely to occur in men who suffer from OSA, a sleep disease characterized by frequent breathing pauses and starts. OSA has been associated with female infertility by a lot of studies.
Additionally, a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction has been linked to men who work shifts. There are numerous bodily functions that can malfunction due to shifting employment. According to a study, shift workers who have difficulty sleeping are more prone to have sexual problems.
Mental health can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation, which in turn might influence one’s capacity to engage in sex. Anxiety and depression are exacerbated by sleep loss. Male and female sexual dysfunction is usually connected to these disorders because of their impact on sexual desire and arousal.
To put it another way: sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on one’s mental health, which in turn can have a negative impact on one’s sexual health. Intimacy is hampered and sexual pleasure is diminished when one is sleep deprived, which has been shown to increase partner conflict.
Sleep deprivation can also impair judgment and impulse control, resulting in poorer sexual health19. Sleep deprivation has been linked to potentially harmful sexual practices, such as the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or the conception of a child.
How Does Sex Affect Sleep?
A better night’s sleep is frequently a result of sexual activity. During an orgasm, the body releases oxytocin and prolactin, two hormones that have a relaxing impact. As an added benefit of sexual engagement, one’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced.
Hormonal changes that occur after menopause may contribute to fatigue and difficulty sleeping, according to new research. Masturbation and intercourse both have the potential to elicit this response. More than half of men and women say that masturbation’s orgasms help them get a decent night’s sleep.
You may be able to get a better night’s sleep if you’re in close proximity to someone else. Studies show that males are more likely than women to experience this after having sex, which is in accordance with the popular assumption that men are more likely to pass out after sex.
The discrepancy in weariness disappears during sex when both partners reach orgasm. Men in heterosexual partnerships are more likely to feel a lack of sex satisfaction and orgasm from their partners, which could be linked to exhaustion.
Is Sex Before Sleep a Good Thing?
Sex and self-love are well-known mood-lifters, but may they also affect your sleep? According to a study done by CQ University in Australia, 64 percent of respondents interviewed said having an orgasm before night improved their sleep quality.
Good Sex Life = Good Sleep (and Vice Versa)
Because of the physiological benefits of sex, healthy sex life is likely to improve your sleep quality. Even your sex life might be harmed by sleep deprivation. It has been shown that sleep deprivation can lower testosterone levels and disturb the balance of sex hormones in the body. Your desire to engage in sexual activity may be lessened, and the joyful and rewarding feelings that usually accompany it may be lost as a result of this imbalance.
Sex is not the only place where sexual acts can take place. Sex-related sleep disturbances, often referred to as “parasomnias,” are commonly referred to as “sleepsex” and “sexsomnia,” respectively. It has been observed that these “sleep-related activities,” known as “sexsomnia,” span a wide spectrum of activities. Sexsomnia is a sleep disorder, therefore if any of these acts take place while you’re asleep, you should seek medical assistance.
Steps to Enhance Both Sleep and Sex
As a result of the link between sex and sleep, your whole health and well-being will benefit.
Making an appointment with a doctor is frequently the first step toward getting a better night’s sleep for many people. Subsequent sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), can be treated successfully with the right therapy. Both sleep and sex can benefit from a diagnosis and treatment of these issues..” Sleep apnea treatment can help males with erectile dysfunction, for example.
Shift workers might talk with a doctor about their schedules in order to receive the best possible rest. Many treatment options are available for insomniacs, including cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). It’s best to see a doctor if your sleep is affected by a medical issue.
To get the best night’s rest, it is important to practice appropriate sleep hygiene, as well. Sleep hygiene takes into account a person’s physical environment as well as his or her habitual practices. Here are some particular tips to help you improve your sleep hygiene:
- Temperature, lighting, and scent all play a role in creating an inviting sleeping environment. When it comes to intimacy, though, nothing beats a comfortable mattress.
- Blackout curtains, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, and headphones or earplugs can help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Consistently sleeping at the same time every night, even on days off from work. Ideally, you should get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoid substances that can keep you awake at night, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, large, late-night meals, and midday naps.
- Make your bedroom a technology-free zone before you go to sleep. Put your phone, laptop, or tablet away at least 30 minutes before bedtime and get some shut-eye.
- Every day should include some form of physical activity and exposure to natural light.
- Learning relaxation techniques and incorporating them into your nightly routine will help you get a good night’s sleep.
One strategy to ensure that you receive enough sleep each night is to improve your sleep hygiene. Because of this, it’s possible to have a better sexual experience.
Improving Sexual Health
Sexual health, especially regular, satisfying sex, can improve your general well-being and the quality of your sleep.
You should consult a doctor if you have questions or concerns regarding your sexual health, just like you would with sleep disorders. Even though many people are reluctant to talk openly and honestly about these issues with a medical professional, it is beneficial to do so. As a reminder, doctors are trained in the treatment of sexual disorders because they are so widespread. There are several ways to start a dialogue if you have any questions or concerns.
Being sexually active has a major impact on one’s entire health and well-being. Concerns about sexual performance or satisfaction, safe sex practices, testing for sexually transmitted illnesses, and healthy and happy sex relationships are all ways to improve one’s sexual health.
For some couples, sex therapy can improve intimacy and sexual enjoyment. You can benefit from working with a sex specialist even if you already know what you should be doing to improve your sex life.
Do you agree?