Say that you were to unofficially poll all of the couples who are either married or living together about the current state of their sex life. When it comes to the ones who might say that things are currently less-than-stellar, if you asked them why that was the case, I would be close-to-floored if a roaring majority of them didn't say that it had something to do with how tired they are.
Y'all, the reason why I've written articles for this platform like "The Self-Care Bedtime Routine Every Single Woman Needs", "Yes. Married Couples Should Definitely Have A Nighttime Routine." and "These Sleep Hacks Will Make Getting A Good Night's Rest So Much Easier" is because there is no way around the fact that reportedly 50-70 million people in America aren't getting adequate rest which is highly problematic on a myriad of levels. Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings; effect concentration and performance; trigger anxiety and depression; weaken your immunity; throw your hormones off balance; reduce your metabolism; increase your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes or having a stroke or heart attack; age your skin; cause you to gain weight and, as it specifically relates to this particular article, tank your libido. What's really a trip is this is just 10 of the many reasons why getting less than 6-8 hours a sleep on a regular basis is so not good for you.
Today, though, in the hopes of motivating more long-term couples to "get it in" more often, let's look at the very intimate relationship that sex and sleep have with one another. I'll do so by hitting six reasons — three points a piece for each— why they really do work hand in hand with one another.
1. SEX Stimulates Sleep-Inducing Hormones
I know a lot of women who get irritated if/when their partner falls asleep right after sex. If you're one of them, don't be mad at the guy — that's the way he was created. The reality is that once men ejaculate, they release a combination of chemicals and hormones — norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide and prolactin. Not only do all of them help him to feel calmer but prolactin levels actually increase during sleep, period.
Besides, don't act like you don't have moments when you want to catch some immediate zzz's as well which makes total sense because sex can raise your estrogen levels which makes REM sleep so much better as well. Not only that but sex also decreases the stress hormone cortisol in the body too. If you put all of this together…if you've been having a hard time getting to sleep lately, when's the last time you had some sex? It can definitely beat any sleeping pill on the market. Hmph. If you disagree, I've got some serious questions for you.
2. SLEEP Balances Your Hormones
Have you ever wondered why, when you're PMS'ing or on your period, if you're pregnant or if you're going through menopause, you either can't seem to fall asleep to save your life or you can't seem to get enough sleep even if you've slept for hours on end? Usually, the underlying cause is that your hormones have either spiked up or severely dropped which has put your system into a bit of a tailspin. And here's the thing — when your hormones are off, your libido oftentimes is too. Interestingly enough, many times the remedy for both issues is to get more sleep. One of the main reasons why is sleep helps to regulate your cortisol levels so that your hormones can level out. And when your hormones are good, your energy and interest in sex tend to improve, significantly so.
3. SEX Can Physically Make You Look Forward to Going to Sleep
If you're someone who puts off going to sleep because, when your body is still, that's when you experience discomfort that you don't seem to notice otherwise, that's another reason why sex before bedtime can be really good for you. For one thing, did you know that sex is a natural pain reliever? No joke. Whenever you engage in the act, it releases endorphins that can make body aches (especially back-related ones) so much easier to bear. Also, if you're someone who constantly has your sleep disrupted because you've got to pee during all of hours of the night, sex is an act that helps to strengthen your pelvic floor so that incontinence is less of an issue. Something else to keep in mind is there are studies that link a lack of sleep to high blood pressure and guess what? Having sex can help to decrease your blood pressure; that's because oxytocin reduces stress and the less internal stress you've got going on, the greater chance your blood pressure will remain at a healthy level.
4. SLEEP Rejuvenates So That Your Libido Stays Intact
Ah, the layers right here, boy. Let's go with men first. If you're all about having more sex and sleep but the problem is your partner struggles a bit with erectile dysfunction, a fascinating thing that sleep also does is help his system to produce more testosterone so that he's in the mood to have more sex and is physically more capable of getting and maintaining an erection.
As far as we're concerned, because sleep not only helps to balance out our hormones, it can also give us a lot more energy and make having orgasms easier to experience, sleep is also a healthy and proven way to boost/maintain our libido. In fact, I read that one study that said just one additional hour of sleep can increase a woman's chance of wanting to have sex the next day by as much as 14 percent. Hmph. As if you needed another reason to take a nap, right?
5. SEX Bonds You to Your Partner
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "We Should Really Rethink The Term 'Casual Sex'". The gist of it was, even if you believe that you can have sex with someone and not mentally or emotionally bond to them, there's no way around the fact that you do end up physically connecting on some level. That's because oxytocin — the hormone that has the nicknaming "the love hormone" — levels increase during the act of sex. And when you feel closer to someone after copulation, that can make you feel safer and stress-free. So much that you may be all about curling up under them and falling asleep — if not for the entire night, at least for a couple of hard-snore-filled hours. Ain't nothin' like sleep after sex. Absolutely nothing, chile.
6. SLEEP Bonds You to Your Partner
Is there anything better than spooning after a great sex session? It's hard for me to think of too many things that top it. And here's the thing — once you receive the oxytocin high that chemically bonds you to your partner, you can then get another "dose" of it by cuddling up to them as you fall asleep too (check out "Fall's Coming: 8 Wonderful Health Benefits Of Cuddling"). Not only does the oxytocin help you to get to sleep, it can also assist you in falling asleep more soundly so that you can wake up the next day in a better mood and, quite possibly, desirous of even more sex. Perhaps even some morning sex (check out "Here's How To Make Morning Sex...Sexier"). Yeah, funny how all of this works, full circle. #wink
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