Sleep deprivation doesn’t come across as a health issue anymore, it has become a lifestyle that we, urban dwellers, have chosen for ourselves. Working late-night shifts to push your name up the promotion list, or pulling an all-nighter to complete that university assignment is just another activity that you take up every other day. All these things that you do as a replacement for your sleep may seem super productive and beneficial, but sacrificing your sleep can not only affect your health but can also take a toll on your sex life and your relationship with your partner.
Here we talk about the connection between your sleep and libido, and what you can do to improve it. Read on!
The Connection Between Slumber At Night And Sex Life
When the body lacks sleep or is stressed because of sleep difficulties, the brain suppresses the production of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone and increases the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) instead. This shift in hormone levels can lead to decreased sex drive, infertility, or erectile dysfunction.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that just an hour of extra sleep every night increases the odds of a woman having sex with her partner by 14%. This research studied 171 women who recorded their sleep and sexual activities for two weeks.
Along with the positive impact of sleep on their sexual activities, it also found that the women who were sleep-deprived experienced poorer vaginal arousal during sexual intercourse than those who get enough sleep .
Another study done on 28 young, healthy men of the University of Chicago, recorded a drop in the levels of testosterone by 10-15% after a week of sleep restrictions. These men slept for less than five hours per night. It was also found that the effects of restricting sleep on the levels of testosterone were especially evident between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm the next day .
Other Reasons How Lack Of Sleep Can Affect Your Sex Life
- Lack Of Sleep Means Lack Of Focus
Sleeping helps your bodies recover from the entire day’s wear and tear. It resets your body and helps you feel fresh and active the next day. On the flip side, lack of sleep makes you feel lethargic, tired and simply exhausted to be on your A-game, which can have an impact on your bedroom performance .
- Sleep Deprivation May Boost Stress Levels
Several studies have shown that lack of sleep at night increases the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in humans . Various other studies have shown that elevated levels of cortisol in the body can have a negative impact on the sex drive .
- Sleepless Nights Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
A research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine studied 401 male subjects with sleep apnea. The researchers found that 70% of the men involved in the study had erectile dysfunction. The research concluded that lack of sleep has a prominent impact on your sexual performance . This claim is backed by several other studies and research.
- Lack Of Solid Slumber Can Increase Psychological Issues
Lack of sleep and insomnia can pave way for serious psychological issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, and even depression which can effortlessly kill your natural sex drive and the desire to do anything fun. Such mental problems can also impact your relationship with your partner, interfere in your work and disrupt your daily routine .
Tips To Get Better Sleep
- Stick to a particular sleep schedule
- Be smart about napping. Avoid long naps, especially in the afternoon, as it can keep you up late
- Expose yourself to the morning sunlight
- Leave your stress behind
- Practice mindfulness
- Try relaxing strategies like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga before bed to can help you get better sleep at night
- Avoid screens (mobile phones, laptops, televisions) 1-2 hours before your bedtime
- Keep the room lights as dim as possible
- Limit your caffeine intake especially after dusk
- Avoid big meals at night
- Make sure your bed is comfortable
- Keep the room temperature moderate. A room too hot or too cold can disrupt your sleep
- Exercising during the day will keep your body healthy and will help you sleep better at night
- Opt for natural melatonin supplements
Foods To Help You Sleep Better
- Fatty Fish
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dark Chocolate