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Why Sex is So Good… for Sleep

“Sex helps us relax, unwind—and, yes, fall asleep. Remember the classic stereotype of a guy dozing off immediately after sex? There’s some truth to that, for both men and women.”

– Ian Kerner, Licensed Psychotherapist and Sexuality Counselor

Sex Hormones and Sleep
“Oxytocin, among many other feel-good hormones, has been said to act as a sedative to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep,” ,” says Michele Lastella, Ph.D., a sleep scientist at Central Queensland University in Australia. Sex relieves stress by boosting oxytocin (the love hormone) and lowering cortisol (the stress hormone). Orgasms also release a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. And women are extra-lucky because sex boosts their levels of the hormone estrogen, which enhances REM sleep and promotes deep sleep.

The Sleep-Sex Connection
According to sex researcher and author Laurie Mintz, reporting for Vice, “Lack of sleep and lack of sex share some common underlying causes, including stress… This knowledge can lead to obvious, yet often overlooked, cures for both problems. Indeed, experts have suggested that sleep hygiene can help alleviate sexual problems and that sex can help those suffering from sleep problems.”

Have Better Sex—and Better Sleep
So, we know that some of the same conditions that promote healthy sleep also supports great sex. Assuming you’re like most of us, and you want both, what should you do about it? Here’s a list of simple ways you can optimize your sleep quality and your sex life at the same time—starting tonight.

Stick to a schedule.

The body and mind are trainable through the habits we form—why not condition yourself to feel frisky AND sleepy at bedtime?

Put away screens.

Instagram is fun, but paying attention to your partner is the best aphrodisiac, and the blue light emitted by devices blocks sleep.

Don’t sedate yourself.

All sedatives are bad for sleep quality, but they also wreak havoc on your sexual performance and diminish pleasurable sensations.

Set the mood.

Want civilized sleep and untamed passion? Take a hot shower, turn down the thermostat to 68 °, and slip into some clean sheets. It works.

The Takeaway

Using sex as a sleep aid is the perfect example of a civilized sleep solution. It provides high quality, restorative sleep that’s safe for everyone, with no harmful side effects or next-day hangover.

We believe the amazing benefits of healthy, high-quality sleep should be accessible to everyone! Want to get a better night’s sleep starting tonight? Check out 5 Rules for Civilized Sleep* (that everyone can do).

Author: Matthew Rader
Photography: Creative Commons

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