The Connection Between Great Sex and Great Sleep
No matter what book you’re reading, which website you’re looking at or which sleep doctor’s advice you are listening to, they all state the same: Your bed should only be used for sleep and sex.
If you really wanted to be strict about the sleep-and-sex-only-rule, you could make it a habit to move to another place to make love. While I agree that trying new things is always a good idea to spice up your sex life, there must be more to it than laziness why we have sex mainly in bed.
The reason is the close relationship between sex and sleep; sex has an inbuilt association with sleep, and great sleep makes great sex possible.
Why sex can help you to get good sleep
Unlike other activities, sex is a unique way to relax and de-stress, which helps you to fall asleep. During orgasm, your brain releases a range of essential chemicals, including serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and prolactin. Let’s take a more in-depth look at this chemical cocktail to understand why sex can be so helpful for getting great sleep.
Endorphins: During sex, the area of your brain involved in pain reduction is highly activated because your body releases endorphins, a natural pain killing hormone. Not only that endorphins soothe nerve impulses responsible for pains like menstrual cramps, migraines or joint pain but it is also a feel-good chemical that gives you a warm and glowing feeling, perfect for putting you to sleep.
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Oxytocin: Sex causes increased the production of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone” because it promotes bonding between people. The release of oxytocin motivates you to engage in intimate activities like hugging, touching, and of course, making love.
Oxytocin is also crucial in lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, giving you a sense of relaxation and calmness, and priming you for a good night’s sleep.
Serotonin: Sex gives you an extra flow of serotonin, the big contributor to your overall wellbeing and happiness. Serotonin influences almost all of your mental functions, including your mood, sexual desire, appetite, memory, and social behavior. Increased levels of serotonin help to boost your self-esteem and make you feel more significant. So, it’s not just all about sex…
Melatonin: As a chemical precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin, serotonin also has a tremendous influence on your sleep. Your body needs serotonin to produce melatonin, which contributes to the onset of sleep and helps to maintain a normal sleep-wake cycle. Low serotonin levels are also linked with depression and insomnia; when levels of serotonin increase, sleep often falls into place naturally.
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Norepinephrine: The next suspect is norepinephrine, also referred to as noradrenaline. Norepinephrine plays a vital role in balancing the overall stress response in your body and in stimulating arousal and orgasm. At first glance, it seems to support exactly the opposite of sleep. But norepinephrine is also involved in the synthesis of melatonin and helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It is mainly due to the smooth interplay between these two neurotransmitters, serotonin, and norepinephrine that you can cycle through the different stages of sleep and smoothly transition from sleep to waking activity.
Prolactin: Unlike reading or watching television, which can go on indefinitely, sex has a limited duration – and when you’re finished, you often feel sleepy. Responsible for this sleep-inducing effect is prolactin, a hormone that’s linked to sexual satisfaction. Prolactin levels are substantially increased after sex, especially in men. That may also explain why women often complain that ‘he just rolls over and falls asleep’!
How sleep helps you to have better sex
Not only does good sex lead to good sleep, but good sleep also leads to good sex. Both men and woman who are getting enough good quality sleep experience higher levels of sexual desire and greater sexual arousal when making love. In simple terms, with a night of great sleep on both sides of the bed, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of having good sex the next day.
Sleep is the best natural aphrodisiac you can find, whereas lack of sleep profoundly impairs your sexual health and leads to a lowered libido. This relates to both sexes. However, if you are a man, keep in mind that testosterone plays a crucial part in this. Sleep deprivation is one of the main reasons for low testosterone levels in men, which can decrease your sex drive and even lead to erectile dysfunction. That’s why before relying on pills and potions to regain your sexual energy and desire, try to improve your sleep.
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As you can see, the quality of your sleep has a multiplying impact on your overall wellbeing, and the quality of your sex life is no exception. Little sleep can make things exponentially worse, whereas good sleep can make things exponentially better. Getting proper high-quality rest boosts your immune system, helps to fight anxiety and depression, and can dramatically improve your sex life.
Why sleep helps you to have orgasms
Sexual arousal and your ability to have orgasms are closely linked to your mind. Although orgasms may involve almost every bodily system, they’re ultimately controlled by your brain. If you allow yourself to get plenty of good quality sleep, you are able to establish and maintain a healthy brain-body connection. This is vital for experiencing great sex and, as one conditionally affects the other, for having even more great sleep.
And sometimes they may even come at the same time; sleep orgasms are quite common in both men and woman. No matter whether or not you can come while you’re conscious, enough deep relaxing sleep helps your brain make you come while you’re asleep – without your body doing anything at all!
When is the best time for sex?
Let’s be honest: we often have sex mainly based on convenience. It’s late at night, usually around 11 pm, you’re lying there, your partner is lying there, so that’s when you want to make it happen. However, the problem is that the hormones required for great sex, are all at the bottom level at 11:30 at night. Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and adrenaline – all are low. The only hormone that is high is the sleep hormone melatonin – precisely what you don’t need to get into action.
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That’s why try to have sex at 9 in the morning, and see how that works for you and your partner – you might really be surprised how this time change can spice up your sex life.
How to have both, great sex and better sleep?
To end the bad sleep-no sex cycle, one thing you can do is to stick to the basic sleep hygiene rules and ban all electronics from your bedroom. Leaving your smartphone, laptop, or tablet close to your bed just makes it too tempting to scroll through social media or to watch another Netflix episode.
So change your habits and detach yourself from electronics while in bed. This will almost always lead to more fun between the sheets. Once you start making love more often, your desire for regular sex comes naturally, and with that one of it’s greatest benefits: excellent sleep.
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