The body responds to orgasm by releasing hormones that can help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep. In addition to releasing hormones that make you sleepy, the feelings of intimacy and closeness help reduce stress, which is also good for sleep.

You might think having sex before bed would invigorate you, but it just might be the way to fall asleep fast. Sex and other forms of physical intimacy at bedtime have been shown to increase sleepiness, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and improve overall sleep quality. What’s more, quality sleep can improve sex life.

Intimacy can help you sleep

The link between sex and sleep is due to the way hormones react to intimacy. After an orgasm there is a release of hormones which can induce drowsiness. The two main hormones involved are oxytocin and prolactin. You may know oxytocin as “the love hormone.” It helps promote bonding, affection, and general well-being, which can lead to better sleep. There aren’t many human studies on oxytocin and sleep, but a small study published in November 2017 in the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology found that administering oxytocin to patients with obstructive sleep apnea resulted in improved sleep time and sleep satisfaction.
Prolactin is another hormone known to increase during sleep, according to research. Prolactin levels are highest during sex, with a noticeable spike after orgasm, which could be the root of the post-coital drowsiness that many people experience.

According to previous research, prolactin levels increased significantly one hour after orgasm, whether it was achieved through masturbation or with a partner. These higher prolactin levels, along with increased estrogen levels in women, also promote rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and therefore overall sleep quality.

Sex has an anti-stress effect.

Previous research has shown that levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, decrease in response to sexual arousal. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, decreased stress has been shown to lead to increased sleep duration, with people with low stress levels sleeping almost an hour longer per night than those with lower stress levels. a high level of stress.
Remember that this hormonal response appears to be the result of achieving an orgasm, not just any sexual activity. It doesn’t matter whether you reach orgasm alone or with a partner – the physiological phenomenon observed during sex with a partner is also found during masturbation.

What science says about sex and sleep

Other research has attempted to specifically answer this question: Does having sex help people sleep? A study, published in March 2019 in Frontiers in Public Health, examined the relationship between sexual activity, sleep quality and the time it takes to fall asleep. The study involved 778 adults who took part in anonymous online surveys.
Researchers found that 71 percent of respondents said their sleep quality improved and 62 percent said they fell asleep faster after sex with a partner. These figures were respectively 48% and almost 45% for masturbation.

Sex with a partner can reinforce these hormonal effects by increasing feelings of close bonding, affection, and intimacy that can promote sleep quality. One limitation of the study is that the results were self-reported, so the researchers had no way to confirm their accuracy. Relying on self-reported data rather than objective measures makes sex and sleep a difficult subject to study.

Some research has even confirmed that using objective measures versus self-reported data can lead to different results when it comes to whether sex promotes sleep. For example, a systematic review published in October 2021 in the Journal of Sleep Research looked at the relationship between intimate physical contact (which ranges from intimate sexual contact to non-sexual affectionate contact, such as cuddling) and sleep quality. . The researchers found that the link between intimate touching and sleep was stronger in studies that included subjective responses (self-reported judgments) than in those that took a more objective approach to measuring intimacy and sleep.

Why good sleep is good for your sex life

Not only does sex promote sleep, but sleep can also boost your sex life and get you in the mood more often. Insufficient sleep can have the opposite effect and reduce your desire, interest and energy for sex. According to previous research, getting enough sleep at night can make you more likely to have regular sex. The researchers behind this study found that longer sleep duration was linked to stronger sexual desire in the 171 women participating in the study, with a 14% increase in the likelihood of having sex. sexual activity with a partner for an increase of one hour of sleep at night.

It makes sense: being well rested puts most people in a better mood, which can make them more inclined towards intimacy. Insufficient sleep is proven to be linked to low libido, erectile dysfunction and has a negative effect on energy and mood. Previous research has shown that men who slept less than five hours per night had lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

Bottom Line: Sleep and sex are linked. Aim to get seven to nine hours of regular sleep each night to promote your sexual health.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.