While most of us can think of better ways to end sex than with a snore – am I right, ladies?! – the two are actually closely linked. And while I’d never dream of wishing sleepiness on anyone in the throes of passion, I do definitely like the fact that sex can be good for you on a whole new level.
Sex can help you sleep. Sleeping makes you happier, healthier and more productive. Don’t believe me? See what these guys have to say about the importance of sleep.
But how exactly does sex help me sleep?
Glad you asked. Now I can segway smoothly into the science part.
Here we go:
1. It lets those hormones fly
I know, usually we view haphazard hormones as a bad thing, right?! Every month we find ourselves caught between clinging onto our partner for affection and wanting to slap him across the face whenever he opens his mouth. Hormones, we remind ourselves, safe in the knowledge that we’re not batshit crazy.
But in this case, the hormone that is released during sex – oxytocin – is definitely A Good Thing. It helps you feel closer to your partner, more secure and more comfortable in settling down for a great night’s sleep. Zzzzz…
Sex also lowers levels of another hormone called cortisol. This bad boy is related to stress – we’ll all have been flooded with it any time we’re late for work, miss a deadline or about to face a confrontation that we dread. It pumps us with too much adrenaline and we end up with that sick feeling in our stomachs that’s so much worse than butterflies.
We definitely don’t want our cortisol levels creeping up at night-time, filling our minds with anxiety and worry about trivial things. Best way to avoid it? That’s right, destressing with sex! In fact, sex plays such an important part in our hormone levels that it may be a cure for insomnia. Worth a try, in my book.
2. You’ve followed the white rabbit
In this case, the white rabbit being an orgasm. Back on the hormone buzz, when you orgasm you release another hormone called prolactin. It makes you feel relaxed and sleepy, leading you to a peaceful and drowsy state and right on to la-la land.
Imagine, an explosive orgasm followed by an epic sleep. Sure what more could you want?
How about this for a cherry on the top: sex boosts estrogen levels in women. This enhances our REM stage and basically gives us a deeper sleep.
Now, if only we ladies could figure out how to go from orgasm to unconsciousness in ten seconds flat – that pretty French term so aptly called le petit mort. Answers on a postcard, boys… 😉
3. It gives you a workout
Pretty obvious really, but something we often forget – sex is a form of exercise. Sexercise, if you will. That’s right, a workout we actually look forward to! Hallelujah.
You’ve gotten a good stretch, you’ve built up a sweat, you’ve had your heart racing – now it’s time for a cool down. Relax, breathe deeply and soon sleep will be your reward for all your hard work. (And the sex was, too. Obvs.)
4. The system works in reverse
More sex brings you more sleep. And guess what? More sleep increases your sex drive, leading to – you got it – more sex.
Finally, a so-called vicious circle I can live with.
So why does more sleep increase your sex drive? It ain’t rocket science, but it does bring up another question relating to sleep and sex: can sleep – or a lack thereof – affect your libido?
The answer is yes. Because when you don’t get enough sleep, you can become cranky, irritable and critical. Not exactly the elements of seduction. And if your partner somehow finds your craziness arousing – which trust me, does happen – the last thing you’ll feel like if you’re wrecked is that workout we mentioned earlier.
My advice? Go along with it the first time, even if you’re tired. You’ll sleep better afterwards, your libido will start to wake up again and very soon you’ll be the one making bedroom eyes.
Is it bed-time yet?!
Nearly. But you know what, it doesn’t have to be. Now that you know how good sex is for sleep – and therefore, for your overall health – you don’t need to limit yourself to nightly encounters. Morning sex is the world’s way of telling us to be late for work. And they don’t call it afternoon delight for nothing.
However often you have sex – don’t make me jealous – it all counts. You’ll be a calmer, confident and happier person. One who’s able to actually fall asleep early and to wake up feeling rejuvenated, ready to go again.
You get all the benefits of great sex, plus the added bonus of a sound, deep sleep.
Sweet dreams. xoxox