We talk about the importance of sleep here at The Alternative Daily quite a bit. We’ve covered, for example, that the amount you sleep is associated with weight, stress levels, hormonal balance, memory, and even brain size. Now, a recent study tells us that there’s another surprising benefit to sleeping more: better and more frequent sex.
The study out of the University of Michigan Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory suggested that for each additional hour of sleep a woman got, the likelihood that she would engage in sexual activity with a partner the following day increased by 14 percent. The study also found that not only did longer sleep for women lead to more sex, it could also lead to better sex.
According to the David Kalmbach, the study’s author: “Our study showed that good sleep is important for healthy sexual desire and arousal in women, even when women are psychiatrically and medically healthy.”
Kalmbach and his colleagues examined 171 women who kept diaries of their sleep patterns and sexual activity every day for two weeks. The study found a clear link between longer sleeping times and more sexual desire the following day. The women who slept longer than average also reported that they had better genital arousal and vaginal lubrication than women whose sleep time was shorter than average. The women’s average reported sleep time was 7 hours and 22 minutes.
According to Kalmbach, the findings also suggest that examining sleep health in women with sexual complaints may be worthwhile, “as poor sleep may lead to sexual problems.” Although it’s not known exactly how sleep problems or deprivation affects sexual response and desire, according to Kalmbach, “some previous studies have hypothesized that sleep can affect hormone levels, which may cause changes in desire and arousal.” The new study suggests that decreases in sexual desire are not simply due to mood changes, however, as the study accounted for the subjects’ levels of anxiety and depression.
Although the study does not prove causation, and the findings will need to be investigated further, Kalmbach did feel confident enough to state the following:
“The message is that sleep health is important for many areas of our daily living. Good sleep has been shown to improve mood, energy, concentration, overall health, and, now, sexual desire and arousal.”
He also shared this bit of advice for couples trying to improve or maintain their sex lives: “If there’s anything women or their partners can do to help promote good sleep for one another, whether it’s helping out around the house to reduce workload, planning romantic getaways, or just practicing good sleep hygiene, it could help protect against having problems in the bedroom.”
So, if you’re trying to reinvigorate your sex life, or you’re simply looking to get more sleep, here are some tips:
Keep things dark. Turning down the lights before bedtime, and keeping your room very dark while sleeping may encourage longer and more sound sleep, as our bodies are very sensitive to light.
Keep things cool. The ideal temperature for sleeping is under 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stay away from technology. The light emitted from screens can cause your brain to become more alert, preventing the secretion of melatonin, which is vital for quality sleep.
Try chamomile. Chamomile tea is known to be calming, relaxing, and to aid sleep. Try a cup before bed!
-The Alternative Daily